Facebook Suspends Donald Trump From Platform Until at Least 2023

Donald Trump will be barred from Facebook until at least 2023, the social media giant announced Friday.

The company first suspended the former president indefinitely on January 7—the day after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol—because it believed Trump's statements were contributing to rather than diminishing the risk of ongoing violence.

Facebook's oversight board upheld that decision last month, ruling it was justified in temporarily taking away his account but criticized the "open-ended" nature of the suspension.

"We are today announcing new enforcement protocols to be applied in exceptional cases such as this, and we are confirming the time-bound penalty consistent with those protocols which we are applying to Mr. Trump's accounts," Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, said in a blog post.

"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," the post read. "We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year."

At the end of the two-year period, the social media site will reassess whether the risk to public safety has receded. Facebook said if it's determined that there's still a "serious risk" then it will extend the suspension and continue to re-evaluate until the risk is gone.

Trump ripped the two-year ban as censorship and an "insult" to the people who voted for him.

"Facebook's ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election. They shouldn't be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Our Country can't take this abuse anymore!" the former president said in a statement.

Facebook Suspends Trump Until At Least 2023
Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on May 18 in New York City. Facebook on Friday announced it was suspending Trump until at least 2023. James Devaney/GC Images

If the suspension is lifted, Trump will be subject to stricter sanctions if he continues to commit violations. Facebook said those "rapidly escalating sanctions" will include the permanent removal of his pages and accounts.

Facebook said Friday it was aware that any penalty it chose to apply would 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," Clegg said.

He added, "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."

Facebook's announcement comes two days after Trump shut down his blog—titled "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump"—for good. The blog, which was touted as the former president's own social media platform, ended just a month after it was launched.

Update: This story has been updated with additional information on Facebook's suspension and Trump's statement on the ban.