Facebook Exec Explains Trump Ban: Public Figures Will Be Booted For Fomenting Violence, Not Spreading Lies

A top Facebook executive on Sunday outlined the new guidelines that led to this week’s decision to block former President Donald Trump from the platform for two years, explaining public figures will be booted for encouraging acts of violence, but not for spreading lies.

Speaking on ABC News’s “This Week,” Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg said specific guidelines regarding the removal of public figures were developed following feedback from Facebook’s Oversight Board, which criticized the open-ended suspension of Trump.

Despite the oversight’s board decision to uphold the ban, “We needed to come up with clearer due process, clearer standards, clearer penalties … which we’ve now done,” Clegg explained.

The “red line” in Facebook’s new policy is use of the platform by public figures to “aid, abet, foment or praise acts of violence,” according to Clegg, continuing: “It doesn’t matter who you are, you can be the pope, the queen of England and the president of the United States.”

The spreading of disinformation is in itself not enough to get a person banned from the platform, he continued, as Facebook has “a whole range of tools that we use to deal with disinformation.”

Thus, responding to a question from host George Stephanopoulos, Clegg said Trump—if allowed back on the platform in January 2022—would not be removed solely for spreading false election fraud claims.

“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. “I hope most people think this is reasonable.”

Trump was banned from Facebook “indefinitely” on Jan. 7, a day after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Facebook then announced Friday the suspension will last two years, at which point the company will consider his “risk to public safety” before reins

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