Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg defended the company’s decision to suspend former President Donald Trump for two years.
Clegg appeared on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday to defend Facebook after Trump blasted the social media giant in a statement and again during a speech in North Carolina on Saturday night. Clegg said that the company’s decision was not made to please one side of the political aisle or the other, but to be “fair, transparent and proportionate.”
“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 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 Stephanopoulos.
“Our job is not to take these 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,” he added.
Clegg said that the decision to suspend Trump for two years came following criticism from Facebook’s oversight board about suspending Trump indefinitely from the platform over comments he made on January 6 about the Capitol riot.
“Facebook was wrong to do [suspend Trump] in an indefinite way, an open-ended way, and that we needed to come up with clearer due process, clearer standards, clearer penalties, which we’ve now done,” Clegg said. “We’ve now set out what penalties would apply to what I hope will remain these very rare cases where a public individual uses our apps and services to say things in a way which foments or, in his case, praises rioters who were involved in violence ongoing at that very time.”
Trump first responded to the suspension in a Friday statement slamming the social media company.
“Facebook’s ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others,” Trump said. “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!”
Facebook’s “Oversight Board” ruled in May that the company’s decision to suspend Trump in January was reasonable but said the company should have more clearly defined the penalty rather than kicking Trump off the platform for an undetermined amount of time.
As The Daily Wire reported at the time:
“The Board has upheld Facebook’s decision on January 7, 2021, to restrict then-President Donald Trump’s access to posting content on his Facebook page and Instagram account,” a statement read.
In addition, the Oversight Board noted that they felt it “was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension” given that “Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account.”
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