Trump Suspended From Facebook, Instagram for Two Years
Donald Trump’s accounts on two of the world’s biggest social media platforms will be suspended for at least two years and will only be reinstated “if” conditions permit.
The announcement from Facebook, which also applies to Instagram, comes just weeks after the independent Facebook Oversight Board upheld the company’s suspension of Trump’s accounts in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol.
At the time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he feared Trump would foment even more violence if he were allowed to remain on the services.
The oversight board accepted Zuckerberg’s reasoning, but ordered Facebook to review its decision and applicable policies within six months.
By comparison, Twitter banned Trump permanently on Jan. 8, and has never looked back.
In a blog post, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, said Facebook’s new two-year sanction against Trump — extending to January 2023 — is considered “long enough to allow a safe period of time after the acts of incitement, to be significant enough to be a deterrent to Mr. Trump and others from committing such severe violations in the future, and to be proportionate to the gravity of the violation itself.”
“Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump’s suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols,” Clegg continued. “We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year.”
After the two-year time period is up, in January 2023, Facebook “will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded” enough to reinstate Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.
“If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded,” Clegg said.
But Facebook said the matter won’t end there. Clegg said the social media platform will stand ready to impose “a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions” that will be triggered if Trump violates Facebook’s code of content in the future.
These sanctions include everything “up to and including” the permanent removal of his pages and accounts.
In an email, Trump responded to Facebook’s announcement by calling the ruling “an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election.”
“They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Our Country can’t take this abuse anymore!” Trump said.
Later, in a separate email, Trump added: “Next time I’m in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. It will be all business!”
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