Facebook has decided to extend the suspension of former US President Donald Trump’s account till January 2023. His account had been suspended after the January 6 Capitol siege, that was widely seen as being fueled by his hate filled posts and speeches shared using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Twitter had had also suspended Trump’s account just days after the attack on the Capitol.

Announcing Facebook’s decision to extend the suspension of Trump’s account Nick Clegg, Facebook’s Vice President, Global Affairs said that the social media giant decided to review the suspension after its Oversight Board criticized the open-ended nature of the suspension last month.

“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. We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year,” informed Clegg in a statement. He further said, “At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded. We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest,” adding, “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.”

Facebook also warned, “When the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.”

* Feature image: White House photo in Public Domain.