Meta Lifts Two-Year Ban On Trump's Facebook, Instagram Accounts

Meta Lifts Two-Year Ban On Trump's Facebook, Instagram Accounts

by Swarajya Staff - Jan 26, 2023 11:24 AM +05:30 IST
Meta Lifts Two-Year Ban On Trump's Facebook, Instagram AccountsFormer US president Donald Trump.

Meta Platforms Inc has said that it will restore former US President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, which were suspended following the Capitol Hill riots on 6 January 2021.

Trump, 76, announced in November last year that he will make another dash for the White House in 2024.

Before his accounts got suspended, he had 34 million followers on Facebook and 23 million on Instagram.

“The suspension was an extraordinary decision taken in extraordinary circumstances,” Nick Clegg, president Global Affairs, Meta said in a blog post on Wednesday.

“The public should be able to hear what politicians are saying so they can make informed choices,” he said.

Clegg asserted that under its new newsworthy content policy if Meta assesses there is a public interest in knowing that Trump made the statement that outweighs any potential harm, it may opt to restrict the distribution of such posts but still leave them visible on his account.

“We default to letting people speak, even when what they have to say is distasteful or factually wrong. Democracy is messy and people should be able to make their voices heard,” Clegg wrote.

“We believe it is both necessary and possible to draw a line between content that is harmful and should be removed, and content that, however distasteful or inaccurate, is part of the rough and tumble of life in a free society,” he said.

Clegg said Meta has put new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.

"Like any other Facebook or Instagram user, Mr. Trump is subject to our Community Standards. In light of his violations, he now also faces heightened penalties for repeat offense," Clegg wrote.

"In the event that Mr. Trump posts further violating content, the content will be removed and he will be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation," he added.

Facebook is not only the world's largest social media site, but also a critical source of fundraising for Trump's political campaigns.

However, with these new restrictions that have been put in place by Meta, whether Trump will return to Facebook and Instagram is unclear.

Earlier in November last year, Trump was reinstated by Twitter after Elon Musk took over the company. However, he is yet to post any new tweet from his Twitter handle since regaining the account.

In a post on Truth Social, Trump responded to Meta's decision by saying, “FACEBOOK, which has lost Billions of Dollars in value since “deplatforming” your favorite President, me, has just announced that they are reinstating my account. Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution".

(With inputs from PTI)

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