SAN ANGELO, TX – After months of controversy, Facebook announced on Friday former President Donald Trump will remain suspended from the social media platform for two years.
"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," said Facebook in a statement. "We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year."
According to the social media giant, at the end of the two years, Facebook will re-evaluate to see if the "risk to public safety has receded."
The platform will evaluate instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly, and other markers of civil unrest.
If additional violations are found, Trump may be permanently removed from Facebook.
"We are grateful that the Oversight Board acknowledged that our original decision to suspend Mr. Trump was right and necessary, in the exceptional circumstances at the time. But we absolutely accept that we did not have enforcement protocols in place adequate to respond to such unusual events. Now that we have them, we hope and expect they will only be applicable in the rarest circumstances," said Facebook.
"We know that any penalty we apply — or choose not to apply — will be controversial. There are many people who believe it was not appropriate for a private company like Facebook to suspend an outgoing President from its platform, and many others who believe Mr. Trump should have immediately been banned for life. We know today’s decision will be criticized by many people on opposing sides of the political divide — but our job is to make a decision in as proportionate, fair, and transparent a way as possible, in keeping with the instruction given to us by the Oversight Board."
Donald Trump fired back at Facebook with the following message: "Next time I’m in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. It will be all business!"