Meta Announces Trump’s Facebook and Instagram Ban to be Lifted

Meta Announces Trump’s Facebook and Instagram Ban to be Lifted – Meta has announced that it will reinstate Donald Trump’s access to Facebook and Instagram, ending the two-year ban that was put in place as a result of his behavior on the platforms during the January 6 insurrection. Meta will allow Trump to return “in coming weeks” but “with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses,” Meta’s president of global affairs Nick Clegg wrote in a blogpost explaining the decision.

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“Like any other Facebook or Instagram user, Mr Trump is subject to our community standards,” 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.”  Following the Capitol riots on January 6th, 2021, in which Trump posted false claims about the election and praised violent protests, he was removed from various social media platforms. 

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He also publicly criticized former Vice President Mike Pence, despite the ongoing danger to his life. Clegg said the suspension was “an extraordinary decision taken in extraordinary circumstances” and that Meta has weighed “whether there remain such extraordinary circumstances that extending the suspension beyond the original two-year period is justified.”

Ultimately, the company has decided that its platforms should be available for “open, public and democratic debate” and that users “should be able to hear from a former President of the United States, and a declared candidate for that office again,” he wrote. “The public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying – the good, the bad and the ugly – so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box,” he said.

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While it is unclear if the former president will begin posting again on the platform, his campaign indicated he had a desire to return in a letter sent to Meta. “We believe that the ban on President Trump’s account on Facebook has dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse,” the letter said. 

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The move is likely to influence how other social media companies will handle the thorny balance of free speech and content moderation when it comes to world leaders and other newsworthy individuals, a debate made all the more urgent by Trump’s run for the US presidency once again.

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