Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram Accounts Restored – Update

Update, 4:35 PM: Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts have been reinstated, Meta reported today. The news comes more than two years after the social media company said it was going to bring the former president back to the platform and suspended him indefinitely.

Read more details below.

Earlier, January 25: Meta said Wednesday it will reinstate former President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts two years after they were suspended.

The social media giant has made it clear that Trump must abide by the platform’s rules.

“The common scenario is that the public will hear from a former President of the United States and again on our platform from an announced candidate for that office,” said Nick Clegg, president of Mater Global Affairs. Blog post. “Now that the moratorium period has passed, the question is not whether we choose to reinstate Mr. Trump’s accounts, but whether there are extraordinary circumstances that justify extending the moratorium beyond the original two-year period.”

Trump was suspended from Facebook and Instagram after his praise for those involved in the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Facebook’s oversight board upheld the decision, but criticized the open nature of the suspension. Meta then put a two-year timeline on the suspension, while also spelling out when public figures can restrict their accounts during periods of violence and civil unrest. A protocol was also established to respond more quickly in times of crisis.

Clegg wrote that they assessed the risk to public safety and the current security environment and determined that “the risk has been substantially reduced.”

“As such, we will reinstate Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts next week. However, we are doing this with new fences to prevent repeat offences,” Clegg wrote.

Meta’s announcement follows Twitter’s decision to reinstate Trump’s account under new owner Elon Musk. Trump, however, has yet to tweet from the account, as he started his own social media platform, Truth Social. Axios first reported the repositioning on Facebook and Instagram.

Clegg wrote that Trump faces a higher penalty for any crime. “If Mr. Trump posts further infringing content, that content will be removed and he will be suspended for one month to two years, depending on the severity of the violation,” he wrote. Trump may also have other restrictions on posting content that doesn’t violate Facebook or Instagram’s community standards but “contributes to the risk materialized on January 6, such as content legitimizing the upcoming election or related to QAnon.” Such restrictions may include limits on access to post distribution or advertising tools.

“Many people believe that companies like Meta should remove much more content than we currently do,” Clegg wrote. “Others argue that our current policies already make us unruly censors. The fact is that people will always say all kinds of things on the Internet. We default to letting people speak, even when what they want to say is uncomfortable or factually incorrect.”

Trump is often posting several times a day on Truth Social, but it hasn’t nearly reached the big platforms. He has shown no signs of backing down from his wild rhetoric, such as using a racist term to describe his former transportation secretary, Ellen Chao, and continuing to post baseless claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

He posted Facebook’s decision on Truth Social. “Facebook, which has lost billions of dollars in value since ‘deplatforming’ your beloved president, me, has just announced that they are reinstating my account,” he wrote. “This should never happen again to a sitting president or anyone else who doesn’t deserve revenge! Thanks Satya Social for doing such an incredible job. Your growth is phenomenal, and the future is limitless!!!”

Trump’s deal with Truth Social is that he is “generally obligated” to post there and cannot repost to another social media site for six hours. But he can post from any social media site at any time if the content is related to a “political message, political fundraising or get-out-the-vote effort,” according to a filing last year with the SEC.

The Meta Oversight Board had no role in the decision, the board said in a blog post. Noting that the company “has made significant progress in implementing necessary and proportionate penalties across the severity of various violations,” it called on the company to provide additional details on its updated policies and to be transparent about determining whether permitted content is still poised. “Risk of offline damage.”

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