Donald Trump could be back on Facebook in time for the presidential primaries

by Joseph K. Clark

Facebook has revisited Donald Trump’s “indefinite” suspension following a recommendation from the Oversight Board. The company said that Trump’s suspension should last two years, potentially allowing him to return to the social network in time to run for president again in 2024.

“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,” Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs Nick Clegg wrote in a blog post. “We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year.”

Donald Trump

After the two years is up, Clegg said Facebook would “evaluate” the “risk to public safety” to determine if the suspension should be extended or lifted. He added that additional scrutiny would be applied to Trump’s account when it is restored and that he could still be permanently banned from the platform for future behavior. “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,” he wrote.

Last month, the Oversight Board said that Facebook was justified in suspending Trump but that by imposing an “indefinite” suspension, the company was failing to follow its own rules. The board also accused Facebook of trying to “avoid its responsibilities.”

Now, Facebook says it will have a new set of “heightened penalties for public figures during times of civil unrest and ongoing violence.” Facebook is also publishing further details about its “strike system” and “newsworthiness” policies in response to Oversight Boards’ recommendations.

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