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Facebook VP says 2-year suspension of Trump from platform ‘justified’

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Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said on Sunday that the two-year suspension of former President Trump from its platform was “justified” despite widespread criticisms of the decision.

“We understand that making a decision like this is controversial, it’s shouted out, if you like, from both sides, from those people who feel that Donald Trump should be back on the platform immediately and from those who say he should be banned forever. It receives criticism from all sides,” Clegg told “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos on ABC. 

Facebook said on Friday that it would uphold a suspension of Trump’s account for two years, lasting at least until January 2023, after which it would evaluate whether the “risk to public safety” of restoring Trump’s account has abated.

Clegg said on Sunday that the decision was not based on taking a side politically, but “just to do so in a way that’s fair, transparent, proportionate in line with our rules and crucially is responsive to the comments and criticisms that Facebook received when we first suspended Donald Trump from Facebook.”

Trump, meanwhile, has called the suspension an “insult” to Americans who voted for him.

But Clegg during the ABC interview pointed to the independent Oversight Board’s conclusion that Facebook was right to suspend Trump from it’ platform but shouldn’t do so in an “indefinite way.”

“We’ve now laid out those penalties and explained why we think in this particular case, the most severe penalty is justified,” Clegg said.

When asked whether lies about the election being stolen from him would also justify Trump’s suspension from the platform, something the former president reiterated in a speech in North Carolina on Saturday, Clegg said Facebook would not take the job of policing all speech.

“I don’t think anybody wants a private company like Facebook to be vetting everything that people say on social media for its precise accuracy and then booting people off the platform if what they say is inaccurate,” Clegg said. “We can explain to users that independent fact checkers might find something to be inaccurate. I don’t think they want Facebook to be a sort of truth police.”

Tags Donald Trump George Stephanopoulos
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