Last month, the Oversight Board upheld Facebook’s suspension of former US President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol on January 6. But in doing so, the board criticized the open-ended nature of the suspension, stating that “it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension.” The board instructed us to review the decision and respond in a way that is clear and proportionate, and made a number of recommendations on how to improve our policies and processes.
Facebook are announcing new enforcement protocols to be applied in exceptional cases such as this, and are confirming the time-bound penalty consistent with those protocols which they are applying to Mr. Trump’s accounts. Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump’s suspension, they believe his actions constituted a severe violation of Facebook’s rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols. Facebook are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year.