Trump Suspended from Facebook Platforms for Two Years
The Oversight Board recently upheld Facebook’s suspension of former US President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol on January 6. But in doing so, the board criticized the open-ended nature of the suspension, stating that “it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension.”
The board instructed Facebook to review the decision and respond in a way that is clear and proportionate, and made a number of recommendations on how to improve our policies and processes. Facebook has responded with new enforcement protocols that will be applied in exceptional cases such as this, and confirmed the time-bound penalty consistent with those protocols which they are applying to Trump’s accounts. Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to suspension, Facebook stated it believes his actions constituted a severe violation of rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols. Therefore, the social networkgiant decided to suspend his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year.
At the end of this period, Facebook said it will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded. The company said it will also evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest. If they determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, they will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded. When the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.