After two years of ban, Meta said that it will allow former US President Donald Trump to return to Facebook and Instagram. Trump’s accounts were banned by the company over his behaviour online during the January 6 insurrection. In a blogpost, Meta’s president for global affairs Nick Clegg explained the decision saying Meta will allow Trump to return “in coming weeks” but with “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offences.”
Trump’s restoration of accounts came with a condition that if he is found violating content further, his account will again be suspended between one month and two years. “Like any other Facebook or Instagram user, Mr Trump is subject to our community standards,” Clegg wrote in the blogpost.
“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.” The far-right former President of the US was removed from Meta platforms after the Capitol Hill riots on January 6, 2021 during which he posted unsubstantiated claims of rigged elections, increasingly praised violent protestors, and condemned former vice-president Mike Pence even as the mob threatened his life.
In the blogpost, Celgg 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.