Trump Suspended From Facebook Until At Least 2023

Facebook to bar politicians from posting deceptive content — report

Trump's account may eventually be reinstated if it is determined that "the risk to public safety has receded". Twitter, by contrast, has permanently banned Trump from its service and no trace of his account remains.

The company said in a post Friday that once the two years is up, it "will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded". Future violations, it said, will be met with "heightened penalties, up to and including permanent removal". It was clearly Mark Zuckerberg's hope that the board would craft a ruling that could be applied in future instances so that the company didn't have to address the thorny issue of censoring the speech of politicians or public figures, but that is now what they've been forced to do.

Trump's suspension was the first time Facebook had blocked a current president, prime minister or head of state. But it will no longer treat material posted by politicians any differently from that posted by anyone else.

The controversial exemption, given to politicians under the auspices of their posts being newsworthy, could end as soon as this week on the leading social network, the news site said.

The Oversight Board for Facebook was formed a year ago, as a last court of appeal for controversial moderation decisions.

Last month, the board upheld Facebook's decision to suspend Trump, finding he had broken its policies against praising violence, but said the company needed to set clear rules for high-profile users. Under the new rules, an account can also be suspended for a month, six months, or a year, depending on the severity of a violation.

Trump was originally suspended from Facebook after the January 6 Capitol siege over concerns his posts were inciting violence. In the second, he called them "great patriots" and told them to "remember this day forever".

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Oversight panel co-chair Michael McConnell said in a May 9 interview on Fox News Sunday that Trump encouraged the Capitol rioters and so earned his Facebook ban, but the social media giant's rules are in "shambles" and need fixing.

"Once again, Facebook fails to do the right thing to protect our democracy", said Jim Steyer, founder of the left-leaning Common Sense Media advocacy group.

Others criticized Facebook for not going far enough, saying the ban should be permanent.

The board took particular aim at the "newsworthiness" exemption, put in place in 2016. But the now-former president has never been one to moderate his behaviour, instead choosing to frame any pushback from social media platforms as "censorship" targeted at his "conservative voice" rather than as a response to his constant stream of abuse, hate speech, and violence-inciting lies.

Last summer, for instance, Zuckerberg made a decision to leave up posts by Trump that suggested protesters in Minneapolis could be shot, using the words "when the looting starts, the shooting starts". Assuming the suspension isn't significantly extended, the two-year timeframe would also give Trump plenty of time to restart another campaign.

In Friday's post, Clegg anticipated criticism from both sides of the political aisle.

"We will simply apply our newsworthiness balancing test in the same way to all content, measuring whether the public interest value of the content outweighs the potential risk of harm by leaving it up", Clegg said. "There are many people who believe it was not appropriate for a private company like Facebook to suspend an outgoing President from its platform, and many others who believe Mr Trump should have immediately been banned for life", Clegg wrote.

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