Facebook suspends Trump's account until 2023

Katie Ramirez
June 5, 2021

A group calling itself the Real Facebook Oversight Board, which is critical of Facebook and its oversight panel, said in a statement Friday that the two-year ban brings Trump back just in time for the 2024 USA presidential election and shows "no real strategy to address authoritarian leaders and extremist content, and no intention of taking serious action against disinformation and hate speech".

A group calling itself the Real Facebook Oversight Board, which is critical of Facebook and its oversight panel, said in a statement Friday that the ban brings Trump back just in time for the 2024 presidential election and shows "no real strategy to address authoritarian leaders and extremist content, and no intention of taking serious action against disinformation and hate speech".

On June 4, 2021, Facebook announced that former U.S. President Donald Trump would continue to be banned from the platform until at least 2023.

"They shouldn't be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win", he added. "Our Country can't take this abuse anymore!" he said.

Facebook, along with other major media platforms Twitter and YouTube, had suspended Trump's accounts after the Capitol Hill riots, alleging that the Republican leader's rhetoric had instigated the attack.

He later followed up with a statement hinting he would run for the presidency again and directing ire at Facebook's CEO: "Next time I'm in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife".

After the company's Oversight Board initially upheld the ban from his encouragement of the January 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill at a May 5, the board passed it back to the executives to create "criteria for when or whether the account will be restored", per Facebook. However, the board ruled it was wrong to make the ban indefinite and called for a "proportionate response". After fielding thousands of public comments and reviewing the case for over three months, the board in May upheld Trump's ban but told Facebook to make the call on whether his ouster should be permanent.

Facebook said it would work with experts to decide when the public safety risk had subsided for Trump to be restored to its platforms.

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It will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest.

When the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.

It is unclear what House Democrats will do with the testimony, which they sought before twice impeaching Trump. Trump has received the maximum penalty under those rules, "given the gravity of the circumstances" leading to his suspension.

The change comes in the wake of the unprecedented step the company took of indefinitely suspending Trump in January - and the way its independent oversight board rebuked it for the arbitrary nature of that suspension.

"We know today's decision will be criticized by many people on opposing sides of the political divide", Clegg said.

"Facebook was justified in removing Trump from its platforms, and now the company has appropriately chose to enforce its rules more vigorously against other political figures, as well". It will also disclose when it does use its "newsworthiness" exemption.

Former Trump spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany, meanwhile, accused the company of trying to tip the electoral scales against conservatives.

In its response to the board's recommendations, Facebook said it would be more clear about how it enforces rules for all users.

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