Facebook has commuted former President Donald Trump’s indefinite ban into a two-year suspension that will end January 7th, 2023. Facebook will then reevaluate Trump’s ban to “assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.” If he’s reinstated and violates Facebook’s rules again, it will implement a “strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions” that could lead to a permanent ban.
The suspension accompanies a change in how Facebook treats “newsworthy” posts that break its rules. Facebook will still allow some violating content that is “newsworthy or important to the public interest” to remain online. But as The Verge reported yesterday, it will begin publishing the “rare instances” when it’s applied. And it won’t grant special status to politicians’ posts, a sharp reversal from its previous policy that shielded them from rules that applied to other users.
In response to the @OversightBoard’s ruling, Facebook is suspending Donald Trump’s accounts for 2 years, effective from the date of the initial suspension in January this year. At that time, we will assess the public safety risk and extend the restrictions if conditions require. https://t.co/23JTzX2pfx
— Nick Clegg (@nickclegg) June 4, 2021
“When we assess content for newsworthiness, we will not treat content posted by politicians any differently from content posted by anyone else,” writes Facebook in a blog post. “Instead, we will simply apply our newsworthiness balancing test in the same way to all content, measuring whether the public interest value of the content outweighs the potential risk of harm by leaving it up.”
Facebook made the change in response to a request from the Oversight Board that it clarify its policies around Trump’s ban.