Former President Donald Trump was suspended from Facebook on Friday for at least two years, until January 7, 2023, two years after he was first suspended.
Facebook (FB) said it will review the situation to determine whether he should be allowed back on.
Trump will be unable to post from his Facebook account, which has tens of millions of followers, until the midterm elections in 2022. However, Facebook’s announcement leaves open the possibility that his suspension will be lifted before the presidential election in 2024.
In a post on Friday, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said that after the two years are up, the company will decide what to do “Experts will be consulted to determine whether the threat to public safety has subsided. 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.”
“Long enough to allow a safe period of time after the acts of incitement, significant enough to deter Mr. Trump and others from committing such severe violations in the future, and proportionate to the gravity of the violation itself,” Clegg said of the two-year suspension, which came after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building.
Clegg also announced new “enforcement protocols to be used in exceptional cases like this,” according to Clegg. The change comes after the company took the unprecedented step of suspending Trump indefinitely in January, and after its independent oversight board chastised it for the arbitrary nature of that suspension.
Trump called the decision a “insult” to his supporters in a statement.
On Facebook, politicians have typically been given leeway because the company assumed their posts were newsworthy and relevant to the public debate. As a result, they were not subjected to the company’s normal rules when it came to their jobs. However, Facebook will no longer consider posts from world leaders to be newsworthy.
“When we assess content for newsworthiness, we will not treat content posted by politicians any differently from content posted by anyone else,” Clegg wrote in the post.