Trump's Facebook, Instagram accounts to remain suspended until 2023
Accounts will be 'only reinstated' if risk to public safety has receded, says Facebook.
Facebook suspended former US President Donald Trump from its platform and his Instagram account until Jan. 7, 2023, saying they will be "only reinstated if conditions permit."
On May 5, the company's Oversight Board upheld Facebook’s suspension of Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts because of his alleged role in riots at the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
"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 said in a statement. "We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year."
At the end of this period, the company will review whether the risk to public safety has receded and if it determines that there is still a serious risk to public safety, they will extend the restriction for a set period of time, and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded.
The decision met an immediate backlash from Trump.
"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," Trump said in a statement.
"They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win," he said. "Our Country can’t take this abuse anymore!"
The board upheld the indefinite suspension by saying Facebook "failed to impose a proper penalty".
The former president had been banned from Twitter and Facebook after he urged his supporters to "stop the steal," and called them "great patriots" in the midst of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.
Four people died that day at the Capitol, and a law enforcement officer died the following day after suffering two strokes. Two other officers present during the riot took their own lives in the aftermath.
Following the social media bans, he launched a new communication tool called From the Desk of Donald J. Trump that features videos and statements by the former president but on Tuesday his spokesman Jason Miller said the page has been shuttered.
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