NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 18: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Former US President Donald Trump leaves Trump … [+]
On Friday, Facebook opened the door to a possible return of former President Donald Trump to the platform, but re-confirmed that his account will remain banned for at least two years. The social network blocked Trump’s account for his posts that preceded the riots on Capitol Hill on January 6 of this year.
It was last month that an independent governing body confirmed Facebook’s suspension of the former president, but the board also criticized the perpetual nature of the suspension, saying, “It was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indefinite and excessive penalty of perpetual suspension. “
The supervisory body then asked Facebook to review its decision and react accordingly. Finally, the social media giant announced in a blog post on Friday that “new enforcement protocols” would have to be used in “exceptional cases like this”.
In the post, Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs, wrote: “We are confirming the timed sentence in accordance with the protocols we are applying to Mr. Trump’s accounts. Given the gravity of the circumstances leading to Mr. Trump’s suspension, we believe his actions constitute a grave violation of our rules that deserves the highest penalty under the new enforcement protocols. We will suspend his accounts for two years from the date of the first suspension on January 7th this year. “
Clegg added that at the end of the period, Facebook will bring in experts to further assess whether the “risk to public safety has decreased”. He said the social network would assess external factors, including cases of violence, restrictions on peaceful gathering and other signs of civil unrest. If so, Facebook could extend the restrictions even further and reassess them until the risk subsides.
Even if or if the ban is lifted, the former president could be subject to intense scrutiny, and Facebook warned that further violations could result in “permanent removal of his pages and accounts.”
Clegg said that two years was considered an appropriate sentence for such serious violations and should be significant enough to deter not only former President Trump, but others from committing terms of service violations.
No “like” Trump
Unsurprisingly, the former president blasted Facebook’s decision while also reiterating his false claims that the 2020 was “rigged.”
“Facebook’s decision is an insult to the record-breaking 75 million people and many others who voted for us in the rigged 2020 presidential election,” said a statement from its PAC Save America.
The question now is whether the social network has actually taken the appropriate measures.
“Facebook is dealing with the situation as well as possible,” said technology analyst Charles King of Pund-IT. “Although the rules set out in it are more than a little vague, they are designed to guide the behavior of a public figure whose signature refuses to obey conventional norms of behavior and communication.”
“If the former president tries to use Facebook to spread potentially dangerous misinformation or to reprimand his followers to illegal activities, the company can legitimately shut him down,” added King. “What the new guidelines are suggesting is that if or if Trump ever does get back on the platform, Facebook wants to make sure that he does so on the company’s terms. From a broader perspective, Facebook’s decision to extend Trump’s existing ban for another two years is also likely to have an impact on the impact it could have on the upcoming midterm elections. “
Trump is certainly Trump, and that is unlikely to affect its supporters, and it certainly won’t change the minds of its critics.
“As we saw this week when his blogging site was unceremoniously shut down in less than a month,” remarked King, “the former president appears to lack the interest and / or the discipline to set up his own online communication channel. Without access to massively popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter, he effectively muzzles himself. “