Facebook gives Trump the way to return – but not until at least 2023

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Donald Trump

“Facebook’s decision is an insult to the record-breaking 75 million people and many others who voted for us in the rigged 2020 presidential election,” Trump said in a statement, reiterating his false claims of mass electoral fraud. And in another statement, Trump has once again awakened the specter of a run in the White House in 2024 and vowed not to dine privately with Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg.[n]I’m in the White House three times. “

White House press secretary Jen Psaki, meanwhile, expressed doubts about the notion that Trump could change his posting habits enough to avoid further penalties.

“We have learned a lot from President Trump, the former president, about his behavior and his use of these platforms in recent years,” she told reporters at a press conference. “It is very unlikely that the zebra will change its stripes in the next two years.”

The ban and how Trump can return: Facebook suspended Trump’s account for the first time after his posts during his followers’ siege of the Capitol on Jan. 6, saying his continued presence on the platform threatens more violence. The two-year suspension will take effect from the date of its publication on Jan. 7, Clegg said.

The social media giant said it would check after that period to see if “the risk to public safety has decreased” and then seek his possible reinstatement. Facebook said that if the ban is “finally” lifted, Trump could face new sanctions if he again violates the social network’s rules, which can range from a month to a possible permanent ban, depending on the severity of the offense.

The decision comes in response to recommendations made by Facebook’s board of directors last month when it upheld Trump’s suspension, but criticized the platform for imposing “arbitrary” punishment and for keeping politicians by different rules than other users.

The panel, made up of 20 outside legal experts handpicked by Facebook to review its most sensitive substantive decisions, ordered the company to review Trump’s ban within six months and consider changing its approach to posts from government leaders, especially those that can cause harm.

Facebook’s board of directors said in a statement on Friday that it is reviewing the company’s latest actions and “will provide further comments once this review is completed”.

Tech giant beaten up on both sides of the aisle: Facebook’s decision to keep Trump suspended was spurred on by critics on the right, who criticized the company for silencing the former president in the first place, and on the left, who pounded the company for not firing him, discarded well.

“Facebook is once again not doing the right thing to protect our democracy,” said Jim Steyer, founder of the left-wing advocacy group Common Sense Media. And Steyer called it dangerous to possibly allow Trump back on the website before the 2024 presidential leadership.

“A two-year ban brings us beyond the 2022 election cycle, but does not protect the Americans from his interference in the next presidential election, which is why Facebook should and can ban Trump permanently,” he said.

Former Trump spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany meanwhile accused the company of trying to tilt the voting scales against conservatives.

“Make no mistake, this ban has one purpose, and that is to influence an election,” McEnany said on Fox News, where she is now co-hosting a daily show. “We’ll see if it takes longer than two years.”

Facebook’s policy adjustments: In its response to the policy recommendations of the board of directors, Facebook announced that the posts of politicians will no longer automatically be treated as newsworthy and thus protected from the rules of the platform against harassment, hate speech and more. Even so, their violating remarks may still be exempt from Facebook’s newsworthiness exception, even though the company plans to disclose when the rule will apply in the future.

And the company declined to fully implement some of the board’s other recommendations, including launching a full review of whether Facebook’s actions helped spread claims of electoral fraud and post-election violence around January 6th part, ” by continuing to cooperate with law enforcement investigations into January 6th and by regularly reviewing their policies.

Battle for Truth and Speech: Liberal groups have pounded Facebook for years for failing to enforce its policies against Trump, including throughout the 2020 presidential campaign as it made false claims of mass electoral fraud. Republicans, meanwhile, have beaten Facebook for beating labels and imposing other less severe penalties on Trump, accusing the company of harboring anti-conservative biases.

The dispute peaked on Jan. 6 when the former president used Facebook and other social networks to ardently talk about the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol in a deadly rampage that day. Facebook indefinitely suspended Trump from its platforms the next day, citing the risk that his comments could lead to further damage in the real world.

The company later referred the decision to its board of directors. After the board made thousands of public comments and considered the case for over three months, the board upheld Trump’s ban in May but asked Facebook to demand whether his dismissal should be permanent.

Policy Issues: In accordance with its bylaws, the board also issued recommendations on how Facebook should change or reconsider its policies, including on global leaders and influential users. The company had 30 days to formally respond, which it did on Friday.

The Board’s recommendations argued that “the same rules should apply to all users” and that any consideration of how timely the utterances of global leaders are “should not be a priority when urgent action is needed to prevent significant harm”.

The panel also urged Facebook to initiate a series of follow-up actions, including a “comprehensive review of Facebook’s potential contribution to the narrative of electoral fraud and the heightened tensions that culminated in the January 6th violence in the US. “A non-profit advocacy group that is closely associated with President Joe Biden called on Facebook on Tuesday to comply with this obligation, as POLITICO first reported.

The board also urged Facebook to explain its secret process of imposing strikes and penalties against users, some details of which first came to light in its verdict.

Facebook is under no obligation to follow the board’s guidelines – unlike the board’s guideline on Trump’s account, which the company will consider mandatory.

What’s next for Trump: Facebook’s suspension of Trump and the board’s decision to keep it up for the time being has dramatically limited the former president’s ability to reach supporters on the platform he regularly posted to millions of followers . Twitter banned Trump permanently from his signature platform after the uprising, while Google’s own YouTube banned him indefinitely.

YouTube has left the door open for his return when the risk of harm has subsided but has not set out how it will determine or schedule it.

Trump has teased the prospect of launching a rival social media platform that his conservative supporters could flock to for months, but the plans have yet to become a reality. The former president started a blog in early May for followers to see his testimony and public remarks, but his team closed the site within a month after seeing no significant online traffic.

Quint Forgey and Ben Leonard contributed to this report.

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