After months of speculation, it is official – former President Donald Trump will be allowed back on Facebook and Instagram. Parent company META has confirmed the move to lift the suspension of Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts via Meta’s President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg.
“Two years ago, we took action in what were extreme and highly unusual circumstances,” he said. “Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be reinstated in the coming weeks.”
Clegg said that the decision was made, in part – by assessing the risk of the current environment and the 2022 US midterm elections and made a calculated decision that risk is limited, “Our determination is that the risk has sufficiently receded and that we should therefore adhere to the two-year timeline we set out.”
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How it Began
Trump had initially been suspended from Meta’s platforms following the January 6th Capitol riots and some controversial tweets by the former president where he suggested that the 2020 election might have been stolen.
At the time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”
With Meta’s announcement that it would be reinstating the accounts of Trump, the company shared that it was adding “new guardrails” to “deter repeat offenses” in the future.
According to the statement, if Trump or any other reinstated account continues to 1violate Meta’s policies, they will face harsher penalties for repeat offenses, possibly have their content removed and a lengthy ban imposed.
The decision to reinstate Trump’s accounts did not come as a surprise, as Clegg had strongly hinted at this possibility in September last year.
Trump has been allowed back on Twitter since Elon Musk re-instated his account, although the former president is yet to Tweet on the platform since being allowed back on. Instead, he has used his own social media platform, Truth Social, exclusively.
The decision to allow Trump back on Facebook and Instagram has been met with harsh criticism from various quarters, with the Anti-Defamation League saying Trump should not be allowed to “spread hate and incite violence.”
Other rights groups have expressed similar concerns. However, META’s Nick Clegg explained the decision and its timing leading up to the 2024 presidential election by saying, “The public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying – the good, the bad, and the ugly – so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box.”