Former US President, Donald Trump was on Friday, June 4, suspended by Facebook Inc from accessing its platforms, Facebook and Instagram, until January 2023.
Facebook also announced changes to how it will treat world leaders who break Facebook rules in the future.
The suspension, according to Facebook, will last at least two years from January 7, when he was initially blocked after the Capitol riot, and will only be lifted if the risk to public safety has regressed.
“We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest,” the company said in a blog post.
“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.”
This new development will deny the former US president, who is a social media buff, a major social media use ahead of the November 2022 national mid-term elections, when his party will be competing for Congressional seats.
However, there is a possibility that he may be able to access the social media platforms well before the next presidential election in late 2024.
However, Donald Trump in a statement on Friday, June 4, called the Facebook suspension “an insult” to Americans who voted for him.
“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. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Our cqountry can’t take this abuse anymore!” Trump had said.
It will be recalled that the former US President has been permanently barred by Twitter and remains suspended by Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O ) YouTube after the riot.
Reuters reported that Facebook said it would work with experts to decide when the public safety risk had subsided for Trump to be restored to its platforms.
It also said there would be a set of increasing sanctions that would be stimulated if Trump broke further rules that could lead to his permanent removal.