Facebook could reinstate Trump after two years 'if conditions permit'

Facebook logo on phone
Facebook logo on phone (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Update, June 4 (1:30 p.m. ET): Facebook settles on-two year Trump suspension.

What you need to know

  • Facebook's Oversight Board upholds Facebook's decision to suspend former president Donald Trump's account.
  • Board does not think Facebook's decision to "indefinitely" suspend trump was appropriate.
  • Board wants Facebook to re-evaluate its decision of banning Trump in six months.

Facebook's Oversight Board upholds Facebook's decision to suspend former president Donald Trump.

The board however added in its decision that the social media giant, within six months, should reexamine its decision to "indefinitely" suspend the account.

"It was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension. Facebook's normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account," the board said.

"The board insists that Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform."

The decision comes four months after the social media platform suspended the former president's account "indefinitely" following the riots on Capitol Hill. That happened shortly before current President Joe Biden's inauguration happened on January 20.

At the time Facebook said it allowed the former President to use the platform based on his own rules, but is no longer acceptable and is "fundamentally different." Facebook believed Trump used the platform "to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government. As such, the president's account on Facebook and Instagram have been suspended indefinitely, and at least until the transfer of power is complete."

The board also indicated that it made policy recommendations for Facebook to implement in developing "clear, necessary, and proportionate policies that promote public safety and respect freedom of expression."

Facebook said in an email that it will now "consider the board's decision and determine an action that is clear and proportionate. In the meantime, Mr. Trump's account remain suspended."

"The board also made a number of recommendations on how we should improve our policies. While these recommendations are not binding, we actively sought the board's views on our policies around political figures and will carefully review its recommendations."

Twitter's chief financial officer Ned Segal told Yahoo Finance Live that the platform doesn't plan to change its decision on banning Trump.

"There has been no changes to anything we have shared ninth e past around the former president's account," he said. The platform suspended Trump's account on Jan. 8.

"When you step back and think about our policies, we want to work hard to be consistent, to be transparent so people know exactly what to expect from us. We don't have an oversight board [like Facebook]. Our team is accountable for the decisions that we make. There is no changes to anything we have talked about in the past," Segal said.

Update, June 4 (1:30 p.m. ET) ― Facebook decides on a two-year ban for Trump

Facebook has announced that it is rescinding the indefinite ban of Donald Trump and instead has settled on a two-year suspension.

The change was made following the Oversight Board's recommendation that "it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension."

In addition, Facebook is introducing new enforcement protocols that will be used to determine the length of time violators will be banned from accessing their accounts. In Mr. Trump's case, it will be two years before the court reviews his case, where he may regain access on the condition that there is no longer a risk to public safety.

Facebook Oversight Board Heightened Policy Final

Source: Facebook (Image credit: Source: Facebook)

In the case that public safety is still at risk, Facebook will "extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded."

If the suspension is lifted, Mr. Trump will be put under strict watch for future violations which could eventually lead to permanent removal.

Facebook states that the length of time was chosen to "allow a safe period of time after the acts of incitement" and to provide a long enough deterrent to discourage future violations.

Shruti Shekar
Editor in Chief

Shruti Shekar is Android Central's Editor-in-Chief. She was born in India, brought up in Singapore, but now lives in Toronto. She started her journalism career as a political reporter in Ottawa, Canada's capital, and then made her foray into tech journalism at MobileSyrup and most recently at Yahoo Finance Canada. When work isn't on her mind, she loves working out, reading, watching the Raptors, and planning what she's going to eat the next day.