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.”
The decision comes after Facebook’s Oversight Board told the company it was wrong to impose an indefinite ban on Trump after the Jan. 6 2020 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Facebook says it is setting new rules “to be applied in exceptional cases such as this.” Trump has received the maximum penalty under those rules.
His Facebook and Instagram accounts will be suspended until at least Jan. 7, 2023.
“We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest,” the company said in a blog 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 the service, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Trump further violates the company’s content moderation rules, Facebook said.
This two-year suspension will prevent Trump from using Facebook or Instagram to broadcast to his followers until after the 2022 U.S. mid-term elections.
A spokesman for Trump did not respond to a request for comment.
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U.S. President Joe Biden ordered on wednesday the U.S. intelligence officials to ‘redouble’ their efforts to investigate the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This happened after new reports raised questions about whether it spread from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
The U.S. intelligence agency has been unable to reach a conclusion on whether the virus came from contact with an animal or from a laboratory accident, president Joe Biden said on wednesday.
The statement follows after growing calls in the United States and the world for China to be more open about the origins of the pandemic.
Biden asked U.S. intelligence agencies to report on their findings within 90 days. He directed U.S. national laboratories to assist with the investigation, and also asked China to cooperate with international investigations.
“Back in early 2020, when COVID-19 emerged, I called for the CDC to get access to China to learn about the coronavirus so we could fight it more effectively,” Joe Biden said.
As for the origin of pandemic, Fauci, White House coronavirus adviser, said Wednesday that he and most others in the scientific community “believe that the most likely scenario is that this was a natural occurrence, but no one knows that 100 percent for sure.”