Donald Trump has been banned from Facebook for two years after ‘praising’ rioters during the scenes of violence at the Capitol in January.
Bosses at the social media platform said that any accounts linked to the former US President will be suspended from the date of his initial suspension on January 7.
The decision comes after the 74-year-old urged protesters outside the White House to ‘fight like hell’ amid claims of election fraud following his defeat to now-President Joe Biden.
Protesters later stormed the Capitol as the scenes turned violent, with five people left dead following the demonstrations.
He also riled up demonstrators in a string of social media posts while the riots took place.
Facebook said that Trump’s social media posts were a ‘severe violation of the rules’ and presented a ‘serious risk to public safety’.
The social media firm said that the ban is the ‘highest penalty’ under its new protocols introduced today.
Public figures face a maximum ban of two years from the platform if they incite violence during times of civil unrest and ongoing violence.
Once the ban is lifted, Trump could face further sanctions on his account if he is found to commit further violations of the code in the future – which includes permanent removal.
Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, said in a statement: “We are grateful that the Oversight Board acknowledged that our original decision to suspend Mr. Trump was right and necessary, in the exceptional circumstances at the time. But we absolutely accept that we did not have enforcement protocols in place adequate to respond to such unusual events. Now that we have them, we hope and expect they will only be applicable in the rarest circumstances.
“We know that any penalty we apply — or choose not to apply — will be controversial. There are many people who believe it was not appropriate for a private company like Facebook to suspend an outgoing President from its platform, and many others who believe Mr. Trump should have immediately been banned for life. We know today’s decision will be criticised 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.
“Of course, this penalty only applies to our services — Mr. Trump is and will remain free to express himself publicly via other means. Our approach reflects the way we try to balance the values of free expression and safety on our services, for all users, as enshrined in our Community Standards. Other social media companies have taken different approaches — either banning Mr. Trump from their services permanently or confirming that he will be free to resume use of their services when conditions allow.”
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