Facebook announced Wednesday that it will soon restore Donald Trump’s accounts. This is in response to the ban placed on Trump by the platform for his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2020 riots.
In a blog post, Nick Clegg wrote that “We will be reinstating Donald Trump’s Facebook, and Instagram accounts” in the next weeks. He is the president of global affairs at Meta Facebook. “But, we’re doing it with new guardrails to deter repeat offenses.”
This change comes more than a year after Elon Musk restored Trump’s Twitter account. Trump could be able to use the reinstatement as an advantage in his bid for 2024 presidential election.
Meta’s safeguards include increased penalties for Trump and his team if they post anything that violates the company’s Community Standards. Meta stated that it will limit the spread posts that do not violate the Community Standards, but that they could cause offline harm such as content that “delegitimizes an upcoming electoral process or is related to QAnon”. Meta could also take down the share button and stop ads being posted or recommended by Meta if there are violations.
Meta had previously placed a two-year suspension of Trump’s account, with a time limit, at the request of Meta’s regulator, the Oversight Board.
The board stated that Meta’s decision today is pivotal in the ongoing debate about how to deal with harmful content posted on social media by politicians.
Trump swiftly reacted to Facebook’s reinstatement and blasted it. The former president wrote, “FACEBOOK has lost Billions in value since ‘deplatforming’ your favorite President. They have just announced that they will reinstate my account.” “Such a situation should not again happen to a sitting president or anyone else who isn’t deserving of retribution!”
Trump’s team was pushing for Meta to restore Trump during his 2024 election campaign. Trump signed a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in which he stated that he would give Truth Social priority for posts. However, he is considering not renewing this filing. Trump has not posted on Twitter since November 2022.
Clegg stated at a September event, that the platform would reconsider allowing Trump to return after consulting with experts who weighed the risks of harm.
According to internal documents, Trump will not be subject to Meta’s fact-checking efforts if he returns to the platform.
In the past, Democrats have opposed the decision citing “harmful” misinformation.