In May, Facebook’s independent oversight board confirmed the social media giant’s lockdown on Trump, which was enforced in the wake of the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, because the company said its posts incited the violence.
However, the board ruled that it was wrong to make the ban indefinite and gave it six months to determine a “proportionate response.”
Trump’s two-year suspension went into effect from the initial date he was blocked, Jan. 7 this year, and will only be reinstated if the risk to public safety has diminished, Facebook said in a blog post. A Trump spokesperson did not immediately do so. respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
Facebook said it would work with experts to make this determination and assess factors including cases of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other indicators of civil unrest. He also said there would be a series of ever-increasing sanctions that would kick in if Trump broke more rules that could lead to his permanent impeachment.
“Given the seriousness of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump’s suspension, we believe that his actions constituted a serious violation of our rules that deserve the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols,” said Facebook’s head of global affairs. , Nick Clegg, in the post. .
The timing of Trump’s suspension means that Trump will not be able to use his accounts before the November 2022 midterm national elections, when his party will compete for congressional seats, but he may be able to return to social media a lot. before the next presidential election in late 2024.
Social media companies have struggled in recent years over how to handle world leaders and politicians who violate their guidelines.
Trump’s suspension was the first time Facebook has blocked a current president, prime minister or head of state.
Facebook has been criticized by those who think it should abandon its hands-off approach to political discourse. But it has also come under fire from those, including Republican lawmakers and some free speech advocates, who saw Trump’s ban as a disturbing act of censorship.
The company also announced, in response to the board’s recommendations, that it would make changes to the way it handles world leaders on its site. In a change, it is ending its policy that protects politicians from some content moderation rules because its content is considered “newsworthy.” You will also disclose when you use this exemption.
The announcements came on the same day that Europe and Britain launched formal antitrust investigations into whether Facebook is misusing its vast trove of customer data.