Facebook on Friday banned former US President Donald Trump for two years, saying he deserved the maximum punishment for violating platform rules over the deadly attack by supporters on the US capitol last January.
Trump reacted saying it was an insult to his 75 million voters, and insisted with claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing,” Trump said, and in a direct attack on Mark Zuckerberg added, “next time I’m in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife”.
The two-year ban will be effective from Jan 7, when Trump was booted off the social media giant, and comes after Facebook’s independent oversight board said the indefinite ban imposed initially should be reviewed.
“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,” Facebook vice-president of global affairs Nick Clegg said in a post.
In updating its policies, Facebook also said it will no longer give politicians blanket immunity for deceptive or abusive content at the social network based on their comments being newsworthy.
At the end of Trump’s two-year ban, Facebook will enlist experts to assess whether his activity at the social network still threatens public safety, according to Clegg.
“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,” Clegg said.
When Trump’s suspension is lifted, he will face strict sanctions that could rapidly escalate to permanent removal from the social network for rule-breaking, according to Clegg.