Social media giant Facebook had announced that former President Donald Trump’s accounts will be suspended for two years on Friday.
According to the site, his presence on the social network is freeze until early 2023, this was following a finding that Trump fuelled violence ahead of the deadly Jan. 6 insurgence at the Capitol.
At the end of the suspension, the company will assess whether Trump’s “risk to public safety” has subsided. Facebook will take into account “external factors” such as instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest.
A frozen account means that one can read and comment on past posts, but Trump and other account handlers are unable to post new material.
According to the social media site, public figures who violate its policies during times of crisis can be restricted from posting for a month (yellow) or as long as two years (red). Future violations, it said, will be met with “heightened penalties, up to and including permanent removal.”
Last month, the company’s quasi-independent oversight panel upheld a decision by Facebook to keep Trump suspended, as the company could not merely suspend him indefinitely. It gave the company six months to decide what to do with his accounts. Thereafter, in its decision last month, the board agreed with Facebook that two of Trump’s Jan. 6 posts “severely violated” the content standards of both Facebook and Instagram.
This comes when Trump said “We love you. You’re very special,” to the rioters in the first post. In the second, he called them “great patriots” and told them to “remember this day forever.”
Those comments violated Facebook’s rules against praising or supporting people engaged in violence. Specifically, it goes against the rules of “dangerous individuals and organizations” that prohibit anyone who proclaims a violent mission and ban posts that express support for those people or groups. The two-year suspension is effective from Jan. 7, so Trump has 19 months to go.
However, the former president called Facebook’s decision on the suspension “an insult.” Twitter, by contrast, has permanently banned Trump from its service, and no trace of his account remains.