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Facebook suspends Trump for TWO YEARS: Zuckerberg's Supreme Court criticizes his indefinite ban and opens the door for him to return BEFORE a 2024 run
Facebook announced on Friday that former President Donald Trump‘s account has been suspended for at least two years
The company made the official decision after concluding that Trump [allegedly] stoked violence ahead of the deadly Jan.6 insurrection. Facebook noted that it will only be reinstated “if conditions permit,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, wrote in a blog post.
Clegg defended the company’s decision during a Sunday interview with ABC News.
“I don’t think anybody wants a private company like FaceBook to be vetting everything that people say on social media for its precise accuracy and then booting people off the platform if what they say is inaccurate,” Clegg said, as reported by TheWrap
“So the bright red line there is encouraging violence, not spreading lies?” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked in reference to Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
“Yeah,” Clegg said. “We’ve got very clear rules, they’re called community standards. Everyone can go online to see them, and one of the brightest of those red lines, as you just implied, is that you cannot — it doesn’t matter who you are, you could be the Pope, the Queen of England, the President of the United States — you cannot use our services, and I hope most people would think this is reasonable, to aid, abet, foment, or praise acts of violence.”
Facebook banned Trump indefinitely in January after hundreds of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. His last post on the platform was on January 6 and stated: “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
On Friday, Clegg said Facebook will “look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded” by the time Trump’s suspension expires in 2023.
“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,” he added.
Trump has also been banned on Instagram, which Facebook owns.
Facebook announced Friday that it would maintain its suspension of former President Donald Trump's participation in the social media site for two years – until January 2023 – but said he could return if he stopped committing 'violations'.
The company responded in a statement after its oversight board announced Trump's suspension from Facebook and Instagram, but without providing an end date.
It acknowledged permanent removal was an option 'if Mr. Trump commits further violations' of its policies in the future. But the company also noted its oversight board had '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."'
It cited the 'gravity' of the conduct that got him bumped in the first place, after flagging his repeated claims of election fraud and other issues. The statement also referenced 'acts of incitement' in reference to his comments around the time of the January 6th Capitol riot, when Congress met to certify the electoral votes.
Former President Donald Trump's suspension from Facebook will last for two years, the company said in a statement
'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,' according to the statement, authored by Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister of Great Britain.
'We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year,' the company said.
That means the suspension will remain through the 2022 off-year elections where Trump is seeking to play a significant role
We are today announcing new enforcement protocols to be applied in exceptional cases such as this, and we are confirming the time-bound penalty consistent with those protocols which we are applying to Mr. Trump's accounts.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 25, 2021. The company released a new statement and provided an end date for Trump's suspension, provided he does not commit further violations of its policies
But the company warned: 'When the suspension is eventually lifted, 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.'
'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,' the company said.
The blow comes after it was revealed Trump was taking down his own 'From the Desk of Donald J. Trump' web site after just 29 days following reports of slow traffic.
The Facebook ban drew howls of protest from Trump and GOP allies who railed against 'Big Tech' and its ability to use its sway to try to keep public figures from using the platform.
But the company spelled out what it viewed as a 'serious risk to public safety' if Trump were allowed back on.
'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.'
The announcement comes during a week when the New York Times reported Trump expects to be reinstated to the White House later this summer, following the conclusion of 'audits,' such as one ordered by the Republican Senate in Arizona. That is one of the states where Trump claims election fraud, although the state certified President Joe Biden as the winner and Congress counted the votes for Biden.
Trump's last post on Facebook remains his final message on January 6 in which he said: 'I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence!
'Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!' he wrote. The appeal came after lawmakers reportedly pleaded with him to tell his supporters to leave the Capitol.
Federal prosecutors said this week the riot resulted in $1.5 million in damage to the Capitol. They have prosecuted hundreds of people who took part.
Trump was acquitted in the Senate on charges that included 'incitement of insurrection.'
Trump has continued to play a prominent role in national discussions since he left the White House and skipped Biden's inauguration. Polling shows a substantial number of Republicans agree the election results are tainted, after Trump spent months sowing doubts about mail ballots and vote counters both before and after the elections using Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms.
But he has struggled to find a way to consistently put out his message, even while shattering the mold of ex-presidents with his frequent commentary on his successor.
Shortly before the Facebook statement, Trump used his own 'Save America PAC' to send out an emailed statement questioning the results in Arizona as well as Pennsylvania, which also went for Biden. He leveled a political threat at some Pennsylvania Republican legislators.
'The people of Pennsylvania and America deserve to know the truth. If the Pennsylvania Senate leadership doesn't act, there is no way they will ever get re-elected!' he wrote.