Facebook (now known as Meta) will reportedly end former President Donald Trump’s suspension from its main platform as well as Instagram following an announcement made at the beginning of January that it would decide on reinstating Trump “in the coming weeks.”
The reported rollback on the former president’s suspension comes two years after all the major platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) booted him in response to the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill. Nick Clegg, the company’s president of global affairs, announced that the former president will be able to resume usage on those platforms, “in the coming weeks” along with “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.” The decision comes several weeks after the company announced it would be considering reinstating Trump to its platforms.
Clegg said on the company’s website that the guardrails will include “heightened penalties for repeat offenses — penalties which will apply to other public figures whose accounts are reinstated from suspensions related to civil unrest under our updated protocol.”
“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,” Clegg added.
The former president responded to the ban on his Truth Social account in a post reading:
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! THANK YOU TO TRUTH SOCIAL FOR DOING SUCH AN INCREDIBLE JOB. YOUR GROWTH IS OUTSTANDING, AND FUTURE UNLIMITED!!!
Facebook and Instagram instituted a ban on Trump in the wake of the January 6 Capitol Hill riots even though he told protesters to “peacefully” let their voices be heard while asking that they “go home.” At no point did the president ask his crowd of supporters to be violent or to storm the Capitol. Mark Zuckerberg first said that the ban would be in place until Trump had finished out his term until the company’s semi-independent Oversight Board declared the ban to be appropriate.
“The Board found that the two posts by Mr. Trump on January 6 severely violated Facebook’s Community Standards and Instagram’s Community Guidelines,” it noted. “‘We love you. You’re very special’ in the first post and ‘great patriots’ and ‘remember this day forever’ in the second post violated Facebook’s rules prohibiting praise or support of people engaged in violence.”
Clegg later said that the former president’s account would be reinstated only if the “experts” can properly “assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.”
“We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest. If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded,” Clegg said in June 2021.
“There will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts,” he added.
Trump called the ruling an “insult.”
“Facebook’s ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election,” he wrote. “They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Our Country can’t take this abuse anymore!”