On Friday, Facebook announced that they suspended former U.S. President Donald Trump from its platform until at least 7th January 2023 – two years from his date of suspension. The social media giant announced that it would assess the conditions to see if it will allow the former president back on. Furthermore, the move ensured that Trump wouldn’t able to post from his official Facebook account containing tens of millions of followers before the 2022 midterm elections.
Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs
However, the announcement of Facebook does leave open the opportunity for Trump’s suspension could withdraw before the 2024 U.S. presidential election. The vice president for global affairs of Facebook, Nick Clegg, tweeted that once the two years are up, the company will look to analysts whether the risk to public safety withdrew. VP further adds that the administration will also assess external aspects, including restrictions on peaceful assembly, cases of violence, and other markers of public unrest.
In response to the @OversightBoard‘s ruling, Facebook is suspending Donald Trump’s accounts for 2 years, effective from the date of the initial suspension in January this year. At that time, we will assess the public safety risk and extend the restrictions if conditions require. https://t.co/23JTzX2pfx
— Nick Clegg (@nickclegg) June 4, 2021
But suppose the Facebook experts team determines that there is still a serious risk to civil safety. In that case, it will extend the restrictions on the former president’s account for a set of periods and continue to re-analyze until that risk removed. In the same way, after lifting the suspension, Trump’s account will be subject to further enhanced penalties if he violates the company’s policies, including the permanent removal of his accounts.
When the suspension is eventually lifted, Mr Trump’s account will be subject to new enhanced penalties if he violates our policies, up to and including permanent removal of his accounts.
— Nick Clegg (@nickclegg) June 4, 2021
Facebook will Apply New rules for Enforcement Protocols in Exceptional Cases
Clegg outlined the two-year suspension, which came after former president’s supporters attacked the Capitol building, as long enough to allow a safe and proper time period after the acts of urging unlawfully, to be significant enough to be a warning to the former president and others from committing such severe activities of violations in future. Moreover, Clegg announced that they would apply new rules for enforcement protocols in exceptional cases such as this.
Facebook suspended Trump’s Account in January
The latest move from the company comes in the wake of the extraordinary effort Facebook took of suspending Trump in January until further notice – and after the meeting of the independent oversight board reproved it for the random nature of that suspension. On the other hand, Trump released a statement and called the decision of the social media agency an insult to his supporters.
Facebook usually gives a margin to politicians on its network because the firm operated on the assumptions that their posts were important and part of the public discussion. So, Facebook didn’t apply its general rules to their posts. But from now, the company will not assume newsworthiness for the Facebook posts of leaders worldwide.
Clegg wrote that when their team analyzes content for newsworthiness, it will not treat politicians posted content differently from other content posted by someone else. Though, Facebook will not be ending its newsworthiness exception completely. The social media platform will continue to use the exception, but it initiated another significant change through which it started openly disclosing the rare instances when the exception applied.
The social media giant is also providing more transparency into the process it uses to measure strikes against Facebook accounts as well as pages posting content that violates its community standards. Furthermore, Facebook is not withdrawing its controversial policy of exempting political leaders from fact-checking on its network, a source having knowledge of the matter told CNN Business.
Facebook Plans to Develop a Special Crisis Playbook
On the other hand, Facebook announced not to follow through on a significant recommendation from the Oversight Board, that it reviews the role of Facebook in fueling the false election fraud claims and conspiracy theories that eventually led to the violence at the United States Capitol. In response to the Oversight Board, the company said that they frequently review their policies and practices in the face of growing threats.
However, the company believes that the independent investigators and Facebook’s democratically elected officials are best appointed to their designations to fulfill an objective review of these events. Facebook also announced plans to develop a special crisis playbook, and the company will activate during any emergency or in new unique situations where its existing policies are unsatisfactory to prevent imminent harm. Its Crisis Policy Protocol will help to determine when to execute its context-specific policies.
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