UPDATE: Facebook Suspends Donald Trump’s Account for Two Years
BY ALEX WEPRIN | HollywoodReporter.Com
The move comes after the tech giant’s oversight board ruling last month and will allow the former president to be reinstated in 2023 if certain conditions are met.
Facebook says it will suspend former President Donald Trump’s accounts for two years, with an opportunity to be reinstated in 2023 if certain conditions are met.
The decision came in response to the ruling from Facebook’s Oversight Board May 5, which upheld the company’s initial decision to suspend Trump but added that the company was not justified in imposing an “indefinite” ban.
“It is not permissible for Facebook to keep a user off the platform for an undefined period, with no criteria for when or whether the account will be restored,” the board wrote in its ruling, adding that the company had six months to justify the nature of the ban.
And so Friday, in a blog post, Facebook vp global affairs Nick Clegg announced the two-year suspension and outlined the criteria through which Trump may be reinstated:
“At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded. We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest,” Clegg writes. “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 added that once Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram are reinstated, “there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in the future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.”
In its own statement following Facebook’s announcement, the Facebook Oversight Board said that it “is reviewing Facebook’s response to the Board’s decision in the case involving former U.S. President Donald Trump and will offer further comment once this review is complete.”
In addition to the announcement about Trump’s accounts, Facebook said that it will begin adding more clarity and transparency around its “newsworthiness allowance,” in which it allows posts to stay up even if they violate its community standards. Politicians have traditionally been given extra leeway when it comes to their posts on Facebook, but the company says it will end that practice: “We will not treat content posted by politicians any differently from content posted by anyone else. Instead, we will simply apply our newsworthiness balancing test in the same way to all content, measuring whether the public interest value of the content outweighs the potential risk of harm by leaving it up.”
Reacting to Facebook’s decision, Trump released a statement blasting the decision: “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!”
President Trump’s accounts were suspended indefinitely from Facebook in January in the wake of the riot at the U.S. Capitol. The Facebook Oversight Board, meanwhile, was created by the company to be an independent body specifically to weigh in on tricky or high-profile disputes.
Jun. 5, 3:50 a.m. Updated with statement from Donald Trump.