Donald Trump banned from using Facebook for at least two years

The Republican politician was indefinitely suspended from all Facebook platforms over the 6 January US Capitol riot, in which his supporters violently tried to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s election win.

Now Mr. Trump’s account will remain suspended until 7 January 2023, and Mark Zuckerberg’s company says he will only get it back if the “risk to public safety has receded.”

Facebook’s independent Oversight Board upheld the initial suspension of Mr. Trump last month, but they criticized the company over the indefinite time period, which led Mr. Zuckerberg to introduce the new rules.

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“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. We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on 7 January this year,” said Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs, on Friday.

“At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.

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“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.”

Facebook also announced that if Mr. Trump is ever cleared to use Facebook products again he will face “a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions” that would be applied if he broke user rules.

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Mr. Clegg also added that these would include the permanent removal of Mr. Trump’s 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,” he added.    

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