Meta has announced today that former U.S. President Donald Trump will have his Facebook and Instagram accounts reinstated in the “coming weeks”.
Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram, platforms owned by Meta, were suspended for two years after he praised the actions of rioters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Meta now says that Trump’s risk to public health safety has “sufficiently receded” since January 2021. No specific date has been given for his reinstatement.
Meta said that since the two-year ban had finished, it had to now assess if it would extend the suspension or reinstate Trump’s accounts.
Conduct at recent political events, such as last year’s midterm elections, were evaluated by Meta when making the decision.
Meta concluded Trump’s public safety risk has receded, meaning his accounts would be reinstated.
Are there extra safeguards?
As Trump has violated community standards on Facebook and Instagram in the past, he’ll be subject to heightened penalties for breaches once he is reinstated.
These elevated penalties are in place for any public figure who has been previously suspended due to inciting or celebrating civil unrest.
If Trump posts content that violates Meta’s rules after he is reinstated, he’ll receive a suspension for up to two years, depending on the severity of the post.
Through his ‘Truth Social’ platform, Trump said that his suspension from Meta platforms “should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution”.
He also took aim at Facebook’s business performance, saying it had “lost billions of dollars in value since ‘de-platforming’ your favourite President, me”.
Last year, Trump, who was U.S. President from 2017 to 2021, launched his bid to return to the White House. He’s expected to begin his campaign trail this weekend.
Meta acknowledged Trump’s new campaign in their announcement, saying that the public “should be able to hear” from a former president, and a presidential candidate, in a “normal state of affairs”.