Facebook’s Trump Ban Is Proportionate and Fair, Company VP Says

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Facebook Inc.’s two-year ban on Donald Trump is designed to be fair, proportionate and above politics, regardless of the former president’s complaints, a senior company official said.

Trump called the decision “so unfair” during a speech to Republicans in North Carolina on Saturday. He alleged the world’s largest social media company was silencing the voices of “a much more powerful and much larger group.”

Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, pushed back on Sunday, saying the former president used the company’s apps and services to foment and praise rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and disrupted the certification of his election defeat by President Joe Biden.

“Our job is not to take the decisions with an eye to which side of the political aisle is going to agree or disagree more with us, but just to do so in a way that is fair, transparent and proportionate,” Clegg, a former U.K. Deputy Prime Minister, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Clegg announced on Friday that Trump will remain suspended from Facebook networks for at least two years, and will be reinstated in 2023 only if the risk to public safety has subsided.

Facebook set the timeline after its independent Content Oversight Board criticized the initial open-ended suspension of the former president.

Trump, in a statement Friday, used the ruling to recycle unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud: “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.”

“For Donald Trump, of course we don’t expect him to welcome that decision,” Clegg said on ABC.

Asked about Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen through fraud, Clegg said “of course there’s action that we take on misinformation.”

Yet people don’t want Facebook to be “a sort of truth police,” he said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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