Meta announced on Wednesday it would restore former President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts more than two years after they were suspended.
Meta announced on Wednesday it would restore former President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts more than two years after he was suspended from both platforms for inflammatory posts related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
- The former president’s accounts will be reactivated “in the coming weeks,” according to a statement from Meta, Facebook’s parent company.
- Trump’s return to Facebook and Instagram comes months after his Twitter account was reactivated, although he has not returned to the platform.
- Meta plans to let Trump return with “guardrails,” like tougher penalties if Trump writes something that violates Facebook’s Community Standards.
- The statement specifically referenced “content that delegitimizes an upcoming election or is related to QAnon.”
- Former President Trump has 34 million Facebook followers and his Instagram is followed by 23 million people, and the reactivation of these accounts could lead to a fundraising bonanza for his 2024 presidential bid.
- “The public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying — the good, the bad, and the ugly,” said Meta President for Global Affairs Nick Clegg in a statement. “The fact is people will always say all kinds of things on the internet.”
- “We default to letting people speak, even when what they have to say is distasteful or factually wrong, Clegg wrote. “Democracy is messy and people should be able to make their voices heard.”
- The former President responded on Truth Social, saying Facebook had “lost Billions” after they suspended “your favorite President, me.”
- Trump continued, “Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!”
- The New York Times wrote, “The banning of Mr. Trump’s accounts was a stark demonstration of the clout of social media platforms and whether they have too much control and influence over public discourse online.” Democratic lawmakers and so-called “misinformation experts” were quoted criticizing the reinstatement.
- CNN noted Trump could still be suspended from the platform for up to two years at a time should Facebook decide he violated the platform’s rules. Clegg said in a statement the penalties were designed to “deter repeat offenses.”
- NBC News linked the timing of Trump’s reinstatement to Republicans taking over the House of Representatives. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy vowed in 2021 to “rein in big tech power over our speech” after Facebook announced Trump would be suspended from the platform for two years.
- Breitbart wrote, “Facebook and Instagram instituted a ban on Trump in the wake of the January 6 Capitol Hill riots even though he told protesters to “peacefully” let their voices be heard while asking that they “go home. At no point did the president ask his crowd of supporters to be violent or to storm the Capitol.”
- The Wall Street Journal observed, “Facebook was historically more important to Mr. Trump as a fundraising vehicle.” Even while he was suspended, his campaign could still advertise on the platform.
- National Review noted the reactivation of Trump’s accounts comes after his campaign wrote a letter to Meta on Jan. 17 formally requesting that Trump’s Facebook account be restored.
© Dominic Moore, 2023