Trump’s actions on Facebook during the US Capitol riot were a ‘severe violation of our rules’, the company says.
Former US President Donald Trump has been suspended from Facebook for two years, the social media company announced Friday, adding that they are implementing “heightened penalties” for public figures who violate its protocols.
“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 a statement.
“We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year.”
The company’s announcement comes after an oversight board put together by Facebook criticized its initial indefinite suspension of Trump following the former president’s praise of the US Capitol rioters on January 6.
Last month, the oversight board upheld the suspension, but said it was “not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension”, with Michael McConnell, co-chair of the panel, telling reporters “indefinite penalties of this sort, do not pass the international or American smell test for clarity, consistency, and transparency”.
The board called on Facebook to “review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform” within six months.
Clegg said Friday, “In establishing the two year sanction for severe violations, we considered the need for it to be long enough to allow a safe period of time after the acts of incitement, to be significant enough to be a deterrent to Mr. Trump and others from committing such severe violations in future, and to be proportionate to the gravity of the violation itself.”
When Trump’s suspension is eventually lifted, Clegg added, “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.”
Without access to Facebook or Twitter, which unlike Facebook permanently banned him, Trump last month called the bans “a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country.”
“Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth,” Trump continued, adding, “These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price, and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our Electoral Process.”
This is a developing story. More soon.