Trump's two-year Facebook ban could be EXTENDED after he crossed 'red line' over Capitol riot, exec warns
DONALD Trump's two-year Facebook ban could be extended after he crossed the "red line" over the US Capitol riot, a top executive has warned.
Facebook's independent oversight committee has suspended the former president from the social media platform until at least January 7, 2023.
Nick Clegg, 54, Facebook's head of global affairs and communications, said the company will consider extending the ban if Trump still poses a "serious risk to public safety" once the two-year suspension is up.
"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," Clegg told ABC News.
Clegg, who formerly led the UK political party Liberal Democrats, insisted Trump was banned over the January 6 carnage – and not for spreading false claims about the election.
The attack was the worst on the Capitol in 200 years and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s win over Trump.
Four people died in the riots, and a police officer collapsed and died of natural causes after the chaos.
Two police officers took their own lives in the days after the anarchy.
Trump was impeached for the second time on charges of inciting the violence that led to the riot but he was cleared.
"It doesn't matter who you are, you can be the pope, the Queen of England, the president of the United States, you cannot use our services, and I hope most people would think this is reasonable, to aid, abet, foment, or praise acts of violence," Clegg said.
"I hope most people would agree is something that we just don't want on social media.
"I think it's right that we should be expected to take action where people in hopefully on the whole rare cases use our apps and services in a way which could lead to real world imminent harm."
Clegg said "a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions" would be triggered if Trump violated Facebook policies again once the ban is lifted.
Trump has slammed Facebook's decision to suspend him, calling it an "insult" to MAGA voters but vowed, "we will win".
"Facebook's ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75 million people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election," he seethed.
"They shouldn't be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win.
"Our Country can't take this abuse anymore!" he added.
Trump issued a second statement around an hour later, appearing to hint at a third run for president.
"Next time I'm in the White House," he began, "there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg. It will be all business!"
Clegg said the social media giant did not want to be in the business of vetting fake news and called for regulators to take control of misinformation on social media.
"I don't think anybody wants a private company like Facebook to be vetting everything that people say on social media for its precise accuracy and then booting people off the platform if what they say is inaccurate," he told ABC News.
"I hope most people think this is reasonable.
"The people who should set the rules for how American democracy plays out and where the line should be drawn on what speech is and is not acceptable shouldn't – exactly shouldn't be private companies, it should be legislators and lawmakers in D.C. and around the world, answerable to their own people."
Trump was first suspended from Facebook in January over concerns that his posts about the insurrection in DC were inciting violence.
It was the first time Facebook had blocked a current president, prime minister, or head of state.
Facebook's oversight board upheld the ban in May, but gave itself six months to determine specifically how long Trump would be blacklisted before returning its verdict on Friday.
Twitter and YouTube also banned Trump’s account following the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol, citing "the risk of further incitement of violence".
When asked about the Facebook suspension at a press briefing last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said social media companies have a "responsibility" to take action when it comes to tackling misinformation.
She also took a rare dig at Trump over his behavior, insisting she doesn't believe he will "change his stripes" by the time the ban is due to expire.
"Our view continues to be, though, that every platform — whether it's Facebook, Twitter, any other platform that is disseminating information to millions of Americans — has a responsibility to crack down on disinformation, to crack down on false information — whether it's about the election or even about the vaccine," Psaki said.
"We learned a lot from President Trump — the former president — over the last couple of years about his behavior and how he uses these platforms," she added.
"Feels pretty unlikely that the zebra is going to change his stripes over the next two years. We'll see."
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