Meta announced Wednesday that it will allow former President Donald Trump back on Facebook and Instagram two years after his initial suspension.
In a Wednesday blog post, Meta announced that it would reinstate Trump’s accounts sometime over the next few weeks. If Trump once again violates Meta’s content policies, the company said that his accounts would be subject to additional suspensions, ranging from one month to two years, “depending on the severity of the violation.”
“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,” Clegg said in Wednesday’s blog post. “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.”
As part of Wednesday’s announcement, Meta updated its policies to account for content that doesn’t explicitly violate its rules but could encourage violent or harmful behaviors similar to the January 6th attack on the Capitol. If this content is identified in the future, Meta said it restrict its distribution, like limiting a user’s ability to share a post. The company could also restrict an account’s access to advertising tools.
Trump was banned from Facebook and Instagram following the deadly January 6th attack on the Capitol two years ago. At the time, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Trump was suspended for provoking violence and praising the rioters’ actions. Meta was one of the first platforms to ban the former president, effectively removing all of his accounts from mainstream social media services.
More than a year after being banned from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Trump launched his own social media platform called Truth Social in February 2022. As of publication, Trump has amassed over 4.5 million followers on Truth Social compared to the nearly 34 million Facebook followers and 90 million Twitter followers before his bans.