The decision follows the social media company’s Oversight Board recommendation in May that the former president’s posts about the January 6 storming of the US Capitol severely violated Facebook rules.
The announcement said Facebook will “look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded” after the two-year ban.
We are today announcing new enforcement protocols to be applied in exceptional cases such as this, and we are confirming the time-bound penalty consistent with those protocols which we are applying to Mr. Trump’s accounts,” Nick Clegg, VP of Facebook’s Global Affairs, said. “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. We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year.”
When the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Trump commits further violations in the future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.
“In establishing the two year sanction for severe violations, we considered the need for it to be long enough to allow a safe period of time after the acts of incitement, to be significant enough to be a deterrent to Mr. Trump and others from committing such severe violations in future, and to be proportionate to the gravity of the violation itself,” Clegg stated.