Meta allows Trump back on Facebook and Instagram

Get ready to see more Trump posts shared on your Facebook feed again.

meta announced(opens in a new tab) on Wednesday that it would restore Donald Trump’s accounts on both Facebook and Instagram. The move ends the company’s more than two-year suspension on Trump.

“Two years ago, we took action under extreme and highly unusual circumstances,” Meta’s President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg said in a statement posted on the company’s website, dated January 6, 2021. It comes after assessing whether there was still a “serious risk to public safety”.

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“We have assessed the current environment in accordance with our crisis policy protocols, including the conduct of the US 2022 midterm elections and expert assessments on the current security environment,” the statement said. “Our determination is that the risk has been substantially reduced, and therefore we must adhere to the two-year timeline set out.”

“As such, we will be restoring Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks,” it continued.

former president has been Suspended From the platform of Meta following the events of January 6, in which a pro-Trump mob violently stormed the Capitol Building in an attempt to prevent the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election and overturn the results. Trump. Trump had been posting before and during the riots incendiary messages(opens in a new tab) to his followers, which resulted in him being suspended from several social media platforms.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a statement on his Facebook page at the time, “We believe the risks are too great to allow the President to continue using our service during this period.”

Following the suspension, META referred the matter to its Oversight Board, which suspension upheld But criticized the company for not clarifying whether it was a permanent suspension or a temporary one. If the latter, the Oversight Board said that Meta should clarify what the deadline was for the suspension to be lifted. Meta reacts to Oversight Board’s decision, says it will go a long way two years, After that, the company said it would review whether the account was still a risk to public safety.

Along with Meta’s announcement of Trump’s reinstatement, the company shared that it was adding “new railings” to “prevent repeat offenses” in the future. According to Clegg, if Trump or any other reinstated account violates Meta’s policies on Facebook or Instagram, there will be harsher penalties for these repeat offenses. Depending on the seriousness of the infraction, breaking these rules can lead to the removal of content and a new suspension for anywhere from one month to two years.

Meta says it will also limit the visibility or reach of content or remove the ability to outright share a post that contributes to a public risk, even if it doesn’t outright break its policies. The company shared examples such as content that “invalidates the upcoming election or is related to QAnon.”

Meta’s decision to restore Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts comes as no surprise. Clegg had hinted On the prospect at an event in September last year. A few months later, Elon Musk announced that Twitter would reinstate Trump’s account, further giving a preview of what Meta’s future decision on Trump would be.

Trump is locked into an exclusivity agreement with his own social media platform, Truth Social, so he has yet to tweet since being reinstated on Twitter last year. However, recent reports(opens in a new tab) has said Trump was looking to end that agreement so he could post on other social media platforms as he ramps up his 2024 presidential campaign.

Critics of Meta’s decision were quick to point out how Trump is increasingly(opens in a new tab) Has since been suspended from Facebook for promoting far-right content on Truth Social.

“Today, Meta chose its profits over American democracy and the real-world safety of its users,” said Nicole Gill, co-founder and executive director of the advocacy nonprofit Accountable Tech, in a statement provided to Mashable. “I want to be very clear: There is no justification for allowing Donald Trump back on Facebook … This is a man who used the platform to incite a deadly insurrection against the United States of America — and whose behavior has only grown more dangerous in the years since. Trump has repeatedly used Truth Social to incite violence, spread election lies, and promote domestic terrorist organizations like QAnon.”

Trump currently has 34 million followers on Facebook. In addition, a former president’s Facebook page can now also use Facebook advertising campaigns, which were an integral part of his previous presidential campaigns.

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