Donald Trump reacts to two-year Facebook ban, calling it ‘an insult’

Former president was banned from platform in wake of 6 January attack on US Capitol

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 04 June 2021 20:51 BST

Former President Trump’s Blog Taken Down 29 Days After Launch

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Donald Trump has reacted angrily to his two-year Facebookban, and called his continued suspension by the social media giant “an insult.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s company has announced that the former president will be banned from its platforms until January 2023, when it will get experts to review if it is safe to let him back onto it.

Mr Trump was indefinitely suspended from Facebook in the wake of the 6 January US Capitol riots, in which his supporters violently tried to prevent certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.

“Facebook’s ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election,” Mr Trump said in a statement on Friday.

“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 any more!”

Shortly after issuing his first statement, Mr Trump sent out a follow-up in which he directly attacked Mr Zuckerberg.

“Next time I’m in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. It will be all business!” said Mr Trump.

Facebook’s initial suspension of Mr Trump was given backing by the company’s Oversight Board last month, but its members were critical of the indefinite length of it and demanded changes were made.

Now Mr Zuckerberg has introduced new rules that formalise the length of suspensions handed out to users who break its rules.

After he was suspended by Facebook, and other social media platforms, Mr Trump eventually set up a blog in order to put out statements.

But it was shut down earlier this week after operating for just 29 days.

Facebook has recognised that its decision to suspend Mr Trump for two years before reviewing his case is likely to draw criticism from both sides of the political spectrum.

An analysis of Mr Trump’s Facebook posts between January 2020 and 2021 showed that he pushed misinformation about Covid-19, election fraud, and used “violent rhetoric” in more than 1, 400 posts, according to the Media Matters group.

“A few months ago, Mark Zuckerberg explicitly acknowledged that Donald Trump used Facebook ‘to incite a violent insurrection.’ Today, Facebook announced that it may reinstate Donald Trump’s account after a two-year suspension,” said Angelo Carusone, president of the Media Matters watchdog group.

And he added: “Facebook’s words don’t reflect its actions, and ultimately, this appears to just be part of a larger pattern of Facebook reflexively mollifying right-wing critics and enabling extremists.

“The big takeaway from today’s decision is that Facebook is gearing up to reinstate Trump and in the short-term, the platform will remain a simmering cauldron of extremism, disinformation, and violence.”

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