*Facebook announced on Friday that former President Donald Trump‘s account has been suspended for at least two years.
The company made the official decision after concluding that Trump [allegedly] stoked violence ahead of the deadly Jan.6 insurrection. Facebook noted that it will only be reinstated “if conditions permit,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, wrote in a blog post.
Clegg defended the company’s decision during a Sunday interview with ABC News.
“I don’t think anybody wants a private company like FaceBook to be vetting everything that people say on social media for its precise accuracy and then booting people off the platform if what they say is inaccurate,” Clegg said, as reported by TheWrap.
“So the bright red line there is encouraging violence, not spreading lies?” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked in reference to Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
“Yeah,” Clegg said. “We’ve got very clear rules, they’re called community standards. Everyone can go online to see them, and one of the brightest of those red lines, as you just implied, is that you cannot — it doesn’t matter who you are, you could be the Pope, the Queen of England, the President of the United States — you cannot use our services, and I hope most people would think this is reasonable, to aid, abet, foment, or praise acts of violence.”
Facebook banned Trump indefinitely in January after hundreds of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. His last post on the platform was on January 6 and stated: “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
On Friday, Clegg said Facebook will “look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded” by the time Trump’s suspension expires in 2023.
“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,” he added.
Trump has also been banned on Instagram, which Facebook owns.