Facebook has decided to ban former President Donald Trump from its social media platform for at least two years.
Trump’s Facebook account was suspended following the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot and Facebook removed several posts Trump made on that day. Facebook announced the two-year ban on Friday, a month after its Oversight Board ruled that the social media company must reassess the indefinite suspension of Trump’s account.
“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,” Facebook vice president of global affairs Nick Clegg said in press release.
- “We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on Jan. 7 this year,” Clegg wrote.
- He said the ban would be reevaluated after two years to “assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.”
- Once Trump’s account is replatformed by Facebook, “there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts,” according to Facebook’s announcement Friday.
- The ban on Trump’s account will keep the former president off Facebook through the 2022 midterm — an election that could shift power in the narrowly divided U.S. Congress.
Facebook needed to pick a punishment, oversight board said
In May, the oversight board gave Facebook six months to review the indefinite suspicion, saying then that Facebook could “either impose a time-limited suspension or delete the account.”
- “This penalty must be based on the gravity of the violation and the prospect of future harm. It must also be consistent with Facebook’s rules for severe violations, which must, in turn, be clear, necessary and proportionate,” the board said in May, according to the Deseret News.
In its announcement Friday, Facebook said it was “grateful that the Oversight Board acknowledged that our original decision to suspend Mr. Trump was right and necessary, in the exceptional circumstances at the time.”
- “But we absolutely accept that we did not have enforcement protocols in place adequate to respond to such unusual events,” Facebook added.