Facebook Imposes 2-Year Ban on Trump Accounts, Opening the Door for a 2023 Return

In January 2023, the company will ‘assess whether the risk to public safety has diminished’ and decide whether the former president should regain control of his Facebook and Instagram accounts.

(Photo by James Devane/GC Images)

Donald Trump will remain banned from Facebook until at least January 2023, at which point the social network will “assess whether the risk to public safety is reduced” and decide whether the former president should regain control of his Facebook and Instagram accounts. should do.

The news was announced along with details of how Facebook will enforce its rules for public figures going forward. Trump was “indefinitely suspended” from the stage after posting his support for the pro-Trump crowd that stormed the US Capitol in January.

“Given the gravity of the circumstances leading to Mr. Trump’s suspension, we believe his actions constitute a serious breach of our regulations, which deserves the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocol,” the company said today. “We are suspending their accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 of this year.”

In January 2023, Facebook will ask “experts” to evaluate “external factors, including incidents of violence, restrictions on peaceful gathering and other markers of civil unrest,” it said. “If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the ban for a set period and continue to reevaluate until that risk has subsided.”

credit: facebook

If Trump is allowed to return, “there will be a strict set of rapidly increasing sanctions that if Mr. Trump violates further in the future, up to and including the permanent deletion of his pages and accounts, The company explained.

The decision will undoubtedly affect Trump fans and critics alike, which Facebook acknowledged. “We know that today’s decision will be criticized by many on opposing sides of the political divide – but our job is to make decisions in as proportionate, fair and transparent as possible, in keeping with the instructions given to us by Oversight. board,” the company said.

That Oversight Board, an independent body that evaluates controversial Facebook content-removal decisions and issues binding decisions, found that imposing an indefinite suspension on Trump’s account was unfair. According to the board, Facebook should forever clarify its approach to regulating the former president’s account.

Facebook has now settled on a two-year suspension, calling it “to deter Trump and other public figures from committing such serious violations in the future, and to be proportionate to the severity of the breach.”

The approach is similar to that of YouTube, which has also suspended access to Trump’s own account. The Google-owned site plans to restore access, but only if the potential for more political violence has been eliminated. Twitter has said that Trump has been banned forever.

In a statement, Trump said the decision was an “insult” to his voters, CNBC reports.

During Friday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “This is a private sector company’s decision. We’ll see what their valuation is a few years from now,” adding that “it’s very low.” It is unlikely that the zebra is going to change its stripes in the next two years,” referring to the former president.

editor’s Note: This story was updated with comments from Trump and Saki.

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