Two years after his original suspension, Meta announced on Wednesday that it would permit the former president to rejoin Facebook and Instagram. The social media platform blocked the former president after his instigative role in the tragic attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2015.
In a blog post posted on Wednesday, Meta stated that it will restore Trump’s accounts in the following weeks. The company warns that if Trump disobeys its content regulations once again his accounts might be suspended for an additional one to two years, “depending on the severity of the offence.”
In general, Meta’s vice president of international affairs, Nick Clegg wrote in a blog post on Wednesday, “we don’t want to get in the way of open, public, and democratic debate on Meta’s platforms — especially in the context of elections in democratic societies like the United States.” “The people should have access to hear everything their elected officials have to say, good, bad, and ugly so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box.”
As part of its announcement on Wednesday, Meta revised its policies to take into account content that doesn’t overtly break the rules but might nonetheless incite violent or damaging actions like the attack on the Capitol on January 6th. If this content is later discovered, Meta claimed that it will be restricted from being distributed, similar to limiting a user’s capacity to share a post. The business may also limit a user’s access to advertising tools.
Two years ago, after the brutal attack on the Capitol on January 6th, Trump was banned from Facebook and Instagram. At the time, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, said that Trump had been suspended for inciting violence and endorsing the actions of the rioters. One of the first services to outlaw the former president was Meta, which effectively blocked all of his accounts from popular social media sites.
Trump was initially banned from Meta for an indefinite period of time, but the company later changed its mind after advice from its Oversight Board, a group of professionals who advise the company on content moderation issues. The board stated that an indefinite ban was improper and requested that Meta create fresh guidelines for offensive remarks made by prominent people. The two-year suspension of Trump’s accounts was announced by Meta’s vice president of international affairs, Nick Clegg, in June 2021. The company would consider whether to restore his accounts once “the risk to public safety has receded.”
In the same blog post from June, Clegg stated that the company would not hesitate to escalate severe and quick sanctions if Mr Trump commits further violations in the future, which might include the permanent deletion of his pages and accounts.
In November of last year, Trump’s Twitter account was restored. Tesla CEO Elon Musk conducted a Twitter survey after making the purchase to see whether the former president should be permitted to visit the site again. Trump hasn’t officially returned to Twitter yet; instead, he only uses his personal social media site, Truth Social, as a key channel for communication.
Trump, slammed Meta on Truth Social in response to its statement on Wednesday. He stated, “FACEBOOK has just announced that they are reinstating my account. Since ‘de-platforming’ your beloved President, me, Facebook has lost billions of dollars in value. “TRUTH SOCIAL, THANK YOU FOR DOING SUCH AN INCREDIBLE JOB.”
A few months after Trump formally declared his intention to compete for reelection in 2024, his accounts were restored. Trump’s campaign team spent millions on Meta’s social platform for ads alone throughout his 2016 and 2020 campaigns. Despite being banned from his preferred site, Twitter, Trump’s campaigns have spent a lot more money on Facebook and Instagram. In 2019, Twitter banned political advertising on its platform.
Trump’s 2024 reelection campaign petitioned Meta earlier this month to grant access to the former president’s accounts. “We believe that the ban on President Trump’s account on Facebook has dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse,” the campaign said in a letter to Meta last week.
Two Democratic lawmakers pushed Meta in a letter from December to keep up Trump’s bans in advance of Meta’s decision. According to CNN, the letter’s signatory, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is in charge of the House’s investigation into the attack on January 6th, wrote, “For Meta to credibly maintain a legitimate election integrity policy, it is essential that your company maintain its platform ban on former president Trump.”
In February 2022, more than a year after being barred from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Trump announced Truth Social, his own social media site. Trump currently has over 4.5 million Truth Social followers, compared to his pre-ban followings of roughly 34 million on Facebook and 90 million on Twitter.