Facebook announced that the suspension of former President Donald Trump will last for at least two years. The social media company explained that Trump's comments following the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 "constituted a severe violation of our rules, which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols."
Trump will be eligible to have his account reinstated in January 2023, but Facebook cautioned they may choose to keep him off their platform.
"At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded. We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly, and other markers of civil unrest. If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded," Nick Clegg, Facebook's VP of Global Affairs, wrote in a blog post.
If Facebook lifts the suspension, Trump's post will be under strict scrutiny, and he could face escalating sanctions if he continues to make posts that violate the company's community standards.
Facebook also announced that it will no longer give politicians and other world leaders special treatment when deciding whether to remove posts and suspend accounts.
"In the absence of frameworks agreed upon by democratically accountable lawmakers, the board's model of independent and thoughtful deliberation is a strong one that ensures important decisions are made in as transparent and judicious a manner as possible," Clegg wrote.
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