What you need to know
- Donald Trump will soon have access to his Facebook and Instagram accounts.
- The two-year suspension on Meta-owned accounts is ending in the coming weeks.
- The reinstatement includes guardrails from Meta to prevent repeat offenses.
- Twitter already reinstated Trump back in November 2022.
Two years ago, Meta-owned Facebook indefinitely suspended former U.S. President Donald Trump's account on the social media platform following the riot on Capitol Hill. The ban was further extended to Instagram accounts as well. Two years later, Meta has announced that the suspension is now coming to an end.
Meta's announcement blog post on Wednesday indicates the suspension of Trump's account will end in the coming weeks. Further, to prevent recurrent violations, Meta assures that stringent guard rails are in place.
In the blog post, Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs of Facebook, indicates that any social media "is rooted in the belief that open debate and the free flow of ideas are important values."
"As a general rule, we don't want to get in the way of open, public and democratic debate on Meta's platforms — especially in the context of elections in democratic societies like the United States. 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."
After banning Trump in 2021 indefinitely, Facebook says the ban was referred to its Oversight Board, a wing that independently checks on the company's decisions led by a panel of experts. The Board, however, didn't like the open-ended nature of the ban; henceforth, Facebook had to limit the suspension of Trump to two years.
After the end of Trump's suspension in the coming weeks, Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts will be subjected to Meta's Community Standards. Since the former President has already violated guidelines in the past, he will face heightened penalties for repeat offenses.
Users also have to bear in mind that these Community Standards aren't just restricted to Trump but also to other public figures who share a similar history of violations in the past.
"Our updated protocol also addresses content that does not violate our Community Standards but that contributes to the sort of risk that materialized on January 6, such as content that delegitimizes an upcoming election or is related to QAnon. We may limit the distribution of such posts, and for repeated instances, may temporarily restrict access to our advertising tools."
Such content, however, could still be visible on Trump's account, but it won't be distributed to user feeds. Buttons like reshare for such posts could also be removed. Facebook also plans to stop recommending those posts or running them as advertisements.
"We are taking these steps in light of the Oversight Board's emphasis on high-reach and influential users and its emphasis on Meta's role "to create necessary and proportionate penalties that respond to severe violations of its content policies."
All in, this means Donald Trump will be able to post again on Facebook and Instagram if he intends to do so. And given that he intends to run for reelection again in 2024, having his prominent social handles at his fingertips is a plus.
Trump's reinstatement to Facebook comes just months after Elon Musk's Twitter allowed the former president back on the platform. Though he is yet to post on Twitter after his reinstatement, Trump has responded to Meta's announcement on his Truth Social account (via The Verge).
"FACEBOOK, which has lost Billions of Dollars in value since 'deplatforming' your favorite President, me, has just announced that they are reinstating my account," he said. "THANK YOU TO TRUTH SOCIAL FOR DOING SUCH AN INCREDIBLE JOB."
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Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.