On Friday, Facebook VP of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, announced that former President Donald Trump would be suspended from Facebook’s platforms for two years, and would only be reinstated if certain conditions were met.
Trump blasted Facebook’s controversial decision in a statement, obtained by POLITICO.
“Facebook’s ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others,” said Trump, who also called the presidential election he lost to Democratic nominee Joe Biden rigged. “They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Our Country can’t take this abuse anymore!”
On January. 7, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the indefinite suspension of Trump’s accounts:
The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.
His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world. We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect — and likely their intent — would be to provoke further violence.
Following the certification of the election results by Congress, the priority for the whole country must now be to ensure that the remaining 13 days and the days after inauguration pass peacefully and in accordance with established democratic norms.
Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies. We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech. But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.
We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.
In early May, Facebook’s controversial “Oversight Board” announced their decision to uphold former President Donald Trump’s suspension on both Facebook and Instagram.
As The Daily Wire reported at the time, “… the Oversight Board noted that they felt it ‘was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension’ given that ‘Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account.’”
In the latest announcement of Trump’s two-year suspension, Nick Clegg also stated that “At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.”
“We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest,” Clegg continued. “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.”
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Author: Ian Haworth