Facebook announced on Friday that Donald Trump will be banned from the company’s social media platforms until January 7, 2023.
A sweeping move in response to Facebook’s independent oversight board who upheld the ban against the former President, but was seeking more clarification about the decision last month. The technology giant said they’ll reevaluate whether or not Trump is a risk to public safety prior to the ban ending.
“We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest,” the company said in a 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.”
If Trump is allowed back on Facebook or Instagram, the process will change if he chooses to become a repeat offender and his punishment will be treated more aggressively, Facebook said.
This two-year suspension means Trump’s presence will be missing during the 2022 midterm elections. What has yet to be determined is if the site will also block Trump’s content co-sponsored by other public figures.
Facebook suspended Trump’s official accounts following the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. It was the first time a sitting president was forcefully removed from a social media platform and a decision that was also carried out by other sites.
In a statement issued by his office, Trump sharply denounced Facebook’s decision, saying it went against his first amendment rights.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win,” Trump said in the statement. “Our Country can’t take this abuse anymore!”
Trump is scheduled to visit North Carolina on Saturday to speak at the state’s GOP convention dinner in Greenville. It’s the first public appearance for the President since he took the stage at CPAC in Orlando earlier this year.