Following an announcement in January by Meta, formerly Facebook, that it would decide whether or not to reinstate former President Donald Trump "in the coming weeks," Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly decided to end Trump's suspension from both Facebook and Instagram.
Trump's reinstatement comes 2 years after Facebook and all other major social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc.) banned him in response to the January 6 riot at the Capitol. Meta's President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, announced that Trump will be able to resume using the platforms "in the coming weeks" and also indicated that there will be "new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses."
Those purported "guardrails" are to include "heightened penalties for repeat offenses - penalties which will apply to other public figures whose accounts are reinstated from suspensions related to civil unrest under our updated protocol," according to a statement from Clegg posted on the company's website.
Clegg added, "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."
In response to the announcement from Meta, Trump posted a statement on his Truth Social account stating, "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! THANK YOU TO TRUTH SOCIAL FOR DOING SUCH AN INCREDIBLE JOB. YOUR GROWTH IS OUTSTANDING, AND FUTURE UNLIMITED!!!"
Meta banned Trump from Facebook and Instagram following the riot on Capitol Hill on January 6, despite his post calling for protestors to "peacefully" gather at the Capitol and then calling for them to "go home." Zuckerberg had initially said that Meta's semi-independent Oversight Board deemed the ban appropriate and said that it would remain in place for the rest of Trump's term as president.
The Oversight Board said of its findings, "The Board found that teh two posts by Mr. Trump on January 6 severely violated Facebook's Community Standards and Instagram's Community Guidelines. 'We love you. You're very special' in the first post and 'great patriots' and 'remember this day forever' in the second post violated Facebook's rules prohibiting praise or support of people engaged in violence."
Clegg had later stated that Trump's account would be reinstated if "experts" could accurately "assess whether the risk to public safety has receded."
In June 2021, Clegg said, "We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly, and other markers of civil unrest. If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded."
"There will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in the future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts," Clegg added.
Trump, insulted by the decision wrote, "Facebook's ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election."
"They shouldn't be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Out Country can't take this abuse anymore!" Trump concluded.
It is unclear whether or not Trump will utilize his Facebook and Instagram accounts going forward once he has been reinstated.
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