Meta To Reinstate Donald Trump’s Facebook, Instagram Accounts
Former US President, Donald Trump, will be allowed back on Facebook, and Instagram after a two-year ban for his online behaviour during the 6 January insurgency.
The social media giant had banned Trump the day after a mob of his supporters stormed the US Capitol in Washington, seeking to prevent the certification of his election defeat to Joe Biden.
Trump had spent weeks falsely claiming that the presidential election had been stolen from him, and he was later impeached for inciting the riot.
The decision to lift the ban was announced by Meta, the parent company of Facebook, on Tuesday.
Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, stated that Trump would be able to access his Facebook and Instagram accounts in the “coming weeks”, but that there would be new guardrails in place to deter repeat offences.
Clegg also mentioned that public figures who have been reinstated following suspensions “related to civil unrest” will face new suspensions, lasting for at least a month, for future offences.
The company also plans to limit the reach of Trump’s posts if they contribute “to the sort of risk that materialized on January 6th, such as content that delegitimizes an upcoming election or is related to QAnon.”
Although the posts may not be removed entirely, the company may consider removing the share button and blocking them from the company’s advertising and recommendations systems.
Clegg also confirmed that Meta’s controversial “newsworthiness” policies could continue to apply to Trump.
In the event that Trump posts content that violates the letter of the Community Standards but, under the newsworthy content policy, the company assesses there is a public interest in knowing that Trump made the statement that outweighs any potential harm, the company may similarly opt to restrict the distribution of such posts but leave them visible on Trump’s account.
Meta’s decision comes just months after Elon Musk also restored the former president’s Twitter account.
Trump has so far declined to restart his Twitter habit, instead opting for the platform Truth Social, but is reportedly planning to return according to a recent report in Rolling Stone.
The former president’s Facebook following was also an important asset to both of his previous campaigns. Trump’s suspension was also the first major test of Meta’s Oversight Board, which the company formed to help it weigh in on thorny content moderation and policy decisions.
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