Facebook does not plan to lift Trump account suspension

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NEW YORK | Facebook does not intend to lift the suspension of the account of outgoing US President Donald Trump, group number 2 Sheryl Sandberg said on Monday.

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“Our ban is indefinite. We said it would last at least until the presidential transition, but we have no intention of lifting it, ”Facebook’s COO said in an online forum hosted by the Reuters agency.

The social network announced Thursday the blocking of Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the aftermath of the violence in Washington and the invasion of the Capitol for several hours by supporters of the Republican billionaire, which disrupted the validation by Congress of the victory for Democrat Joe Biden in the November 3 presidential election.

Twitter took a more drastic decision on Friday by deleting Mr. Trump’s account, depriving him of his favorite communication tool.

The White House tenant’s profiles have also been suspended from services like Snapchat or Twitch.

“Our rules apply to everyone,” Ms. Sandberg said. “We have withdrawn publications of Don Jr (the eldest son of Mr. Trump, Editor’s note), we have withdrawn publications of other international leaders and other political leaders. (…) It shows that even a president is not above our rules ”.

Facebook had justified its decision last week by explaining that Mr. Trump’s recent messages put the risk of further violence.

Ms Sandberg admitted that the platform faced many hiccups in the 2016 US presidential election, failing to do enough against manipulative campaigns orchestrated from Russia, but assured Facebook had learned from its errors.

Before the presidential election in November in the United States, the social network had stepped up efforts to dismantle attempts at disinformation and suspended many accounts, groups and pages of a violent or hate nature.

Asked about the power sometimes considered disproportionate of the large digital platforms, Ms. Sandberg said she was in favor of more regulation and said she hoped to work in this direction with the Biden administration, which will take office on January 20.

“We are a private company that provides a service,” she said, however. “It is our responsibility that this service is not used inappropriately, as happened last Wednesday.”

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