Fb suspends Trump accounts for 2 years
Facebook Inc has banned former US President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts for two years.
He was indefinitely banned from both sides in January after his posts about the riot in the U.S. Capitol, but last month Facebook’s governing body criticized the indefinite sentence.
Facebook said Trump’s action was “a serious violation of our rules”.
Trump said the move was “an insult” to the millions who voted for him in last year’s presidential election.
Facebook’s move comes as the social media giant also ends a policy protecting politicians from some rules for moderating content.
It said it would no longer give politicians immunity for fraudulent or abusive content based on their comments being newsworthy.
Trump’s ban will take effect from the date of the first suspension on Jan. 7, said Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president for global affairs.
“Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump’s suspension, we believe his actions constituted a serious violation of our rules that deserves the highest penalty available,” she added.
“If we find that there is still a serious public safety risk, we will extend the restriction for a period of time and continue the assessment until that risk has subsided.”
Upon his return, Trump will be sentenced to “a stringent series of rapidly escalating sanctions” for all violations, the Clegg statement said.
How did Trump react?
In a statement from his political action committee “Save America” Trump said: “Facebook’s decision is an insult to the record-breaking 75 million people and many others who voted for us …”
“You shouldn’t get away with this censorship and silence, and in the end we will win. Our country can no longer stand this abuse!”
In a second statement on the two-year ban, Trump attacked the founder of Facebook.
“The next time I go to the White House, there will be no more dinner with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife at his request,” said the former president. “It will all be business!”
Facebook’s move allows Trump to return to the platform ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
It also comes as he prepares to hold again the large-scale personal rallies that have been a signature of his campaigns and presidency. One of its first is scheduled for early July in Dallas, Texas, according to local media.
Earlier this week it was announced that the communication platform established by Trump as part of his social media bans – From the Desk of Donald J Trump – has been closed for good.
In addition to Facebook, which has over two billion monthly users, Trump was also banned from Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitch and other social media platforms during the January uprising.
Last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, an ally of Republican Trump, signed the first law in the United States penalizing tech companies for deplating politicians.
What is Facebook’s new policy?
Facebook says that public figures who break its rules by inciting civil unrest or violence will be suspended for a month or, in more severe cases, up to two years.
It is part of an effort to undo a previous policy to allow newsworthy political speech when it could potentially cause harm.
Posts that are considered exceptional despite possible violations can still be allowed, but are given a warning by Facebook. The company says it will “no longer treat politicians’ content any differently.”
“Instead, we will simply apply our newsworthiness balancing test to all content equally and measure whether the public interest value of the content outweighs the potential risk of harm by leaving it out.”
The company’s board of directors found Trump’s initial ban was appropriate, but there was no reason to extend the ban indefinitely.
The independent board of directors, financed by Facebook, consists of 20 members who can make binding decisions on content. Members include legal scholars, journalists, experts on freedom of expression and a former Danish Prime Minister.
The announcement comes on the same day that regulators in Europe and the UK begin formal antitrust investigations to investigate whether Facebook has misused customer data.