Meta has said it will allow Donald Trump back on Facebook and Instagram following a two-year ban from the platforms over his online behaviour during the January 6th insurrection.
Meta will allow Mr 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 blog post explaining the decision.
“Like any other Facebook or Instagram user, Mr Trump is subject to our community standards,” Mr 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.”
Mr Trump was removed from Meta platforms following the Capitol riots on January 6th, 2021, during which he posted unsubstantiated claims that the election had been stolen, praised increasingly violent protesters and condemned former vice-president Mike Pence even as the mob threatened his life.
Mr 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.
Mr Trump, in a post on his own social media network, condemned Facebook’s decision to suspend his account as he praised his own site, Truth Social.
“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!” he wrote.
Other social media companies had also kicked Mr Trump off their platforms, though he was recently reinstated on Twitter after Elon Musk took over the company. He has not tweeted.
Banned from mainstream social media, Mr Trump has been relying on Truth Social, which he launched after being blocked from Twitter. – Agencies