Facebook executive defends 2-year Trump ban
Clegg says new guidelines regulate public figures who encourage violence, not lies.
“It doesn’t matter who you are – you can be the Pope, the Queen of England and the President of the United States – you cannot use our services to aid, encourage, promote or praise acts of violence,” Clegg said. . ABC “This Week” presenter George Stephanopoulos.
Facebook said on Friday it had suspended Trump for two years from his original Jan. 7 suspension, following the company’s implementation of newly created “enhanced security protocols” and sanctions for public figures during the period. ongoing civil unrest or violence.
Trump said in a statement Friday that Facebook’s move was an “insult” to its constituents and that the company “should not be allowed to get away with this censorship and silence.”
“We don’t expect (Trump) to welcome this move,” Clegg said on Sunday. “We hope, however, that reasonable observers will believe that we are acting as reasonably as possible under these very difficult circumstances.”
Trump was initially banned from the social media platform the day after the deadly siege on Capitol Hill, fearing his posts would incite violence. A May review by Facebook’s independent oversight board confirmed Trump’s suspension, but said it was “inappropriate” for the company to impose an indefinite penalty without clear guidelines. As a result, the company created tougher penalties for public figures, banning individuals for up to two years, depending on the severity of their violation.
The former president again touched on the suspension on Saturday during a 90-minute campaign speech at the North Carolina Republican Party State Convention, where he also repeated several lies about the 2020 election, calling them “The most corrupt elections in our country’s history. . “
“Maybe they’ll let me come back in two years – I’m not too interested in that,” he said of the Facebook suspension.
“You focused on the – on the comments encouraging the rioters on January 6. What about the election lies? (Trump) repeated a series of these last night. speech he gave last night in January 2023, would the suspension be extended? ” asked Stephanopoulos.
“Well, it’s very difficult for me to make hypothetical judgments,” Clegg replied, adding that Facebook uses independent fact-checkers to tag false information.
“But I’m going to be very clear – I don’t think anyone wants a private company like Facebook to check everything people say on social media for accuracy and then kick people off the platform,” continued Clegg.
Stephanopoulos also called on Clegg to respond to calls to disband Facebook in order to lessen their consolidation of power over public political discourse, citing a New York Times editorial.
“My point, for what it’s worth, is that the answer is not disruption – the answer is regulation.” said Clegg. “American democracy does not belong to Silicon Valley, it belongs to the American people and to the people who should set the rules for how American democracy works.”