"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", Facebook said. "Our Country can't take this abuse anymore!" he said.
Facebook said that even after the two-year suspension was finished, the company would monitor Trump's accounts and could decide to permanently ban him from its platform.
The decision comes after Facebook's Oversight Board told the company it had been wrong to impose an indefinite ban on Trump after the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The punishment: "Back on Facebook just in time for Trump 2024, with no explanation at all why a two-year ban, or what the criteria is for determining his status when the ban expires".
Those unanswered questions include how Facebook will treat other controversial political leaders who have flouted its rules and whether the company would be re-examining the actions it's taken against other users prior to this policy shift.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, speaking to reporters, said of Facebook's decision on Trump that it felt "pretty unlikely that the zebra is going to change his stripes over the next two years, we'll see". The board announced in May that Facebook was right to suspend Trump, but said that the company, not the board, would have to determine the length of Trump's suspension.
Now, Facebook is overhauling a key part of its approach and will no longer consider politicians' posts "newsworthy" by default. Other Democratic lawmakers claim the company allows too much misinformation and disinformation to spread across its services without facing any consequences.
The newsworthiness exemption, he explained in a blog post at the time, meant that if "someone makes a statement or shares a post which breaks our community standards we will still allow it on our platform if we believe the public interest in seeing it outweighs the risk of harm".
Facebook also said it will no longer give politicians blanket immunity for deceptive or abusive content at the social network based on their comments being newsworthy.
The Oversight Board also said Facebook should review the case and establish a system of rules that apply to all users on its platform, including Trump.
Facebook and Twitter now have rules that give world leaders, elected officials and political candidates greater latitude than ordinary users. The company says it has never used the newsworthiness exemption for any of Trump's posts.
The change in Facebook's policy is set to be announced as soon as Friday.
"We know today's decision will be criticized by many people on opposing sides of the political divide", Clegg said.
Facebook said on Friday it has applied this policy to Trump's account once: on an August 2019 video from a rally atw Trump singled out a member of the crowd.
Facebook is also planning to be more transparent about "strikes" issued to accounts for breaking content rules, according to the Verge. Trump's account may eventually be reinstated if it is determined that "the risk to public safety has receded". Facebook said it was implementing 15 of the 19 board recommendations.
Rioters attack the Capitol Building on January 6.