Trump’s Facebook Account Suspended
Former US President Donald Trump on Friday, 4 June, reacted sharply to Facebook’s suspension of his account from the social media platform until January 2023, calling it an “insult” and an effort to “censor and silence” him.
“Facebook’s ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election. 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,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Earlier on Friday, Facebook stated that his account was going against their policy which shielded politicians from the content moderation rules that apply to other users.
Moreover, this move will determine how elected officials will be treated in the future.
In a press release, Facebook said that last month the Oversight Board upheld Facebook’s suspension of Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following his incitement of people engaged in violence at the capital on 6 January.
The board stated that “it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standard less penalty of indefinite suspension.”
Announcing new enforcement protocols to be applied in exceptional cases such as this, Facebook confirmed the time-bound penalty would be consistent with those protocols which they are now applying to Trump’s account.
Facebook added, “given the gravity of the circumstances, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of rules which merit the highest-paid penalty available under the new enforcement protocols.”
Trump’s accounts have therefore been suspended for two years from the initial date of suspension on 7 January this year.
In their statement, Facebook added that at the end of this period, the platform would 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. 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,” Facebook said.
Facebook added that once the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a “strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions” in case Trump commits further violations in future, which could include permanent removal of his pages and accounts.
On Politicians’ Newsworthiness
In addition to this, Facebook said that it would be providing more information about their newsworthiness allowance. As per their policy, Facebook said it allows some content that is newsworthy or important to the public interest to remain on our platform even if it in violation of their Community Standards.
Facebook and Twitter currently have rules that give world leaders, elected officials, and political candidates greater freedom.
The platform said that in the future, they would publish instances where they have granted any posts on Facebook newsworthiness allowance, and added that politicians would not be treated any differently.
“Finally, when we assess content for newsworthiness, we will not treat content posted by politicians any differently from content posted by anyone else. Instead, we will simply apply our newsworthiness balancing test in the same way to all content, measuring whether the public interest value of the content outweighs the potential risk of harm by leaving it up,” the statement read.
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