Facebook has extended former President Donald Trump's suspension for two years and says it will only reinstate him "if the risk to public safety has receded". "We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest", the post added.
It was in response to that call that Facebook made the decision to uphold the suspension for a set period of two years.
"Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump's suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols", Clegg said in his statement. And in another statement, Trump again raised the specter of a 2024 White House run, vowing not to dine privately with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg again the "n$3 ext time I'm in the White House".
A "newsworthiness" allowance granted to a small number of posts at Facebook left Trump free to rile supporters with claims that had been disproven.
In a statement, Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, said the company was announcing the end date of Trump's suspension in response to criticism from its oversight board.
The social media giant said on Friday that while it will still apply this "newsworthiness" exemption to certain posts it deems to be in the public interest even if they violate Facebook rules, it will no longer treat material posted by politicians any differently from what's posted by anyone else.
"A two-year ban gets us past the 2022 election cycle, but does not protect Americans from his interference in the next presidential election, which is why Facebook should, and can, permanently ban Trump", he said.
"Donald Trump and his allies used Facebook to incite an insurrection and attempted coup of the United States Government". Others can still read and comment on Trump's past posts, but he and other account handlers are unable to post new material.
The announcements came on the same day as Europe and Britain launched formal antitrust investigations into whether Facebook misuses its vast trove of customer data.
As part of its non-binding recommendations, the board said the same rules should apply to all users and that Facebook's existing policies, such as deciding when material is too newsworthy to remove or when to take actions on an influential account, need to be more clearly communicated to users.
"We know today's decision will be criticized by many people on opposing sides of the political divide - but our job is to make a decision in as proportionate, fair and transparent a way as possible, in keeping with the instruction given to us by the Oversight Board", the company said in its post today.
In addition, once they're allowed back on Facebook, these users will face "heightened penalties" including permanent bans.
The Oversight Board for Facebook was formed a year ago, as a last court of appeal for controversial moderation decisions.
So, now all public figures have to consider the possibility of losing their Facebook microphone for two years if they do something similarly egregious as telling insurrectionists that they "love" them. Facebook said it was implementing 15 of the 19 board recommendations.