Meta will restore Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts
Meta Platforms Inc. said former President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, which were blocked just over two years ago after a riot by his supporters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, will be restored in the coming weeks.
In November, Trump announced that he would run for president again in 2024. The former head of state had 34 million followers on Facebook and 23 million followers on Instagram before the lockdown. These social media platforms are key tools for political activity and fundraising.
Meta’s corporate blog says the company has “set up new barriers to prevent repeat offenses.”
“Should Mr. Trump post content that violates the rules again, that content will be removed and his account will be suspended for one month to two years, depending on the severity of the violation,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, wrote in the blog.
The decision to block Trump on Facebook and Instagram has sparked mixed reactions to the actions of Meta, which has never before blocked the account of a sitting head of state for violations of the rules on the social networks it owns.
The company indefinitely removed Trump’s access to his Facebook and Instagram accounts after deleting two of his posts published during the Capitol Hill riots, including a video in which the former president repeated his false claim of widespread fraud that caused Trump, in his own words, to lose the 2020 election.
The case for blocking Trump’s accounts was referred to an independent review board at Meta, which ruled that the suspension was justified, but its uncertain timing was not. In response, Meta said it would review the suspension of Trump’s accounts two years after it began.
Meta’s blog, published Wednesday, said Trump could reactivate other accounts, including those that were blocked for participating in civil unrest. The company said those reactivated accounts would be subjected to a stricter review for violations.
It remains unclear whether Trump will take the opportunity to return to Facebook and Instagram. In November, he regained access to Twitter, his once-favorite online platform. Trump hasn’t posted any new tweets since his account on the platform was reinstated, saying he prefers to use his own Truth Social app. But a spokesman for his campaign office told Fox News Digital last week that a return to Facebook “will be an important tool of the 2024 campaign to reach voters.”
In a post on Truth Social, Trump responded to the reinstatement of his Meta app accounts by saying: “This should never happen again to a sitting president or anyone else who doesn’t deserve retaliation!”
Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, who previously chaired the House Intelligence Committee, criticized the decision to restore the former president’s accounts.
“Trump has instigated a mutiny,” Schiff wrote on Twitter. – Giving him access to social media platforms to spread his lies and demagoguery is dangerous.”
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