Former US President Donald Trump will initially be banned from Facebook until early 2023. The online network announced this in a blog post. Then you will assess with the help of experts whether there is still a risk to public safety through its presence on Facebook.
Facebook, Twitter and Youtube banned Trump in January shortly before his term ended. The trigger was the storming of the United States Capitol by his supporters – and the fact that he expressed his sympathy for the attackers. He also continues to claim, without any evidence, that his victory in the November presidential elections was stolen by fraud. In the eyes of his detractors, he continues to heat the atmosphere in the country and causes social unrest.
Facebook had suspended Trump’s account until further notice, then submitted the decision to its independent watchdog for review, which can reverse the measures. The committee, which includes lawyers and outside journalists, criticized Facebook’s rules for not providing for an indefinite ban and asked the online network to reconsider the case. Facebook has now suspended Trump for two years – but the deadline will begin in early January of this year.
In general, Facebook wants to be more transparent about decisions where problematic content is left on the platform because it is newsworthy. The online network stressed that such exceptions will be expressly reported in the future. In the future, such contributions from politicians will no longer be treated any differently from those of other users. It is also a consequence of the recommendations of the supervisory body. The “Supervisory Board” said it was reviewing Facebook’s decision on Trump and would comment once this investigation is complete.
Trump called the move an “insult” to 75 million voters who would have voted for him in the November presidential election. “You shouldn’t get away with censorship and silence – and in the end we will win.” Twitter has previously pointed out that Trump has no way of getting back to the platform. Google’s video platform, Youtube, however, wants to unblock its profile when “the risk of violence has decreased”. A period for this has not yet been named.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said when asked about the Facebook ban by US President Joe Biden’s predecessor, the decision was entirely in the hands of the company. The Biden government believes that every major platform such as Facebook or Twitter, which reaches millions of Americans, has a responsibility to take action against disinformation. “We have (…) learned a lot from the ex-president in recent years about his behavior and his use of these platforms,” Psaki said. So it seems unlikely that this will change over the next two years.
Is Trump building his own network?
In order to be able to stay in touch with his followers despite his ban on well-known networks, Trump created his own blog space on his homepage, which was strongly reminiscent of Twitter in terms of design. But only a few weeks after the start of the “From Donald J. Trump’s Desk” project, the attempt is already a thing of the past and the blog is no longer accessible. Trump supporters could give individual posts a “Like” heart and be notified of new posts. However, it was not possible to comment on the contributions of the ex-president.
Trump employee Jason Miller has indicated that the former US president will soon be active again elsewhere on social media. He didn’t say anything more specific. For a long time, Trump fueled speculation that he could create his own online platform.