Facebook has limited the formerly indefinite ban of former US president Donald Trump to two years.
The social media giant announced the new suspension term in a statement on 4 June.
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At the same time, it revealed a new set of penalties for public figures who incite public violence.
“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,” VP of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg wrote.
The suspension includes Trump’s accounts on both Facebook and Instagram.
Under the new measures, public figure accounts can be suspended for up to two years and removed permanently.
Why did Facebook block Trump?
On 5 May, the Facebook Oversight Board approved the company’s decision to block Trump after the US Capitol riots on 6 January. It said the decision was right and necessary.
However, the board criticised Facebook for not specifying how long the suspension would be. It instructed the company to review the decision based on this. While it did so, Trump’s accounts would remain suspended.
The newly defined two-year suspension period is effective from 7 January 2021. This is the day that Facebook initially suspended the accounts.
After the two-year period, Facebook will engage with experts to determine if the accounts should remain suspended.
“We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest,” Clegg explained.
“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.”
Even if it lifts the suspension, Facebook will place sanctions on the accounts if they commit further violations, the company said. This includes suspending them permanently.
The news is significant as Trump is expected to launch another presidential campaign for the 2024 elections.
Feature image: Unsplash/History in HD