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Facebook suspends Trump for 2 years

Former US President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Facebook suspends Trump for 2 years


Former US President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts have been suspended for two years by Facebook Inc.

He was banned indefinitely from both platforms in January following posts he made about the US Capitol riots, but Facebook’s Oversight Board criticized the indefinite sentence last month.

According to Facebook, the suspension will continue at least two years from the date of the initial block and will only be lifted if the risk to public safety has decreased.

“We know today’s decision will be criticized by many people on opposing sides of the political divide,” Mr. Clegg said the company’s vice president of global affairs said in the post on Friday, adding that “our job is to make a decision in as proportionate, fair and transparent a way as possible, in keeping with the instruction provided by the Oversight Board.”

Trump called the decision censorship and an insult to his supporters.

“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!”


Mr Trump assailed Facebook’s founder in a second statement on the two-year ban.

“Next time I’m in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife,” the former president added. “It will be all business!”

Facebook’s decision permits Mr. Trump to return to the site before the presidential race in 2024.

It also comes as he prepares to host large-scale in-person rallies, which have become a hallmark of his campaigns and presidency. According to local media, one of his first stops will be in Dallas, Texas, in early July.

Facebook’s new policy especially pertains to the actions of prominent figures during times of heightened violence or unrest. According to Facebook, it will now commence a series of time-bound bans for violators, beginning with a one-month ban, and will rely on experts to assist reassess the situation at the conclusion of each term.

The firm suspended Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts after he appeared to celebrate the activities of rioters in posts, claiming that his activities constituted too significant a danger for him to continue on the network.

It further stated that if Trump violated more regulations, a series of increasing fines would be triggered, perhaps leading to his permanent removal.

Trump was suspended from numerous key Internet platforms following the Capitol incident, including Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. Since then, Twitter’s prohibition has been made permanent.

Following the violence, Trump was permanently banned by Twitter (TWTR.N) and remains suspended by Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) YouTube. Trump, who shut down his freshly established blog last week, has hinted at intentions to build his own platform.

Some people applauded the extension of Trump’s ban. However, Facebook opponents claimed the two-year ban was insufficient, and that the timeframe may allow Trump to return to the platform before the 2024 election. This would allow him to not only rebuild a dedicated fanbase, but also use the service for fundraising, list-building, and event marketing, all of which are essential in political campaigns.

“He will be back just in time to load a hundred million into Facebook ads,” said Joan Donovan, research director of the Technology and Social Change Project at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. “Even if he doesn’t run, he is a huge bank for the GOP, so he will be a shot caller.”

The firm also exempts politicians’ speeches from third-party fact-checking and keeps a list of high-profile accounts exempt from the AI algorithms that Facebook depends on to enforce many of its policies.

On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the choice to prohibit users should be left to the firms who administer the platforms.

“Our view continues to be, though, that every platform, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, any other platform that is disseminating information to millions of Americans has a responsibility to crack down on disinformation, to crack down on false information, whether it’s about the election or even about the vaccine,” she said.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump and his aides are examining a variety of methods in the goal of restoring his Internet megaphone.

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