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Meta is letting Trump back onto Facebook and Instagram

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In a post on Truth Social, Trump said Facebook had lost billions in value since his de-platforming. The company has been swept up in a downturn that has affected most major tech companies amid a slowing economy.Charles Laberge/LIV Golf via Getty Images
  • Donald Trump will regain access to his Facebook account in the coming weeks, Meta announced.

  • Axios first reported the news on Wednesday that Trump’s two-year ban was coming to an end.

  • Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, defended the decision ahead of the 2024 election.

Former president Donald Trump’s Facebook account will be restored in the next few weeks after a two-year ban, Meta announced Wednesday.

In an interview with Axios, which first reported the news, Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, said the company had decided to allow Trump to regain access to his account shortly ahead of the 2024 election cycle.

Clegg added that he hoped Trump wouldn’t want to “delegitimize” the 2024 election as he did the 2020 election, should he decide to return to the platform.

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“We just do not want — if he is to return to our services — for him to do what he did on January 6, which is to use our services to delegitimize the 2024 election, much as he sought to discredit the 2020 election,” Clegg said. “We’ve always believed that Americans should be able to hear from the people who want to lead the country.”

Trump, who was booted after the January 6, 2021 insurrection, would be subjected to new policies and restrictions, Clegg added.

“Like any other Facebook or Instagram user, Mr. Trump is subject to our Community Standards,” Clegg said in a statement on Meta’s website. “In light of his violations, he now also faces 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.”

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Trump could be banned for between one month, and two years if he is to violate past or new policies, the company added.

“We may limit the distribution of such posts, and for repeated instances, may temporarily restrict access to our advertising tools,” Clegg added. “This step would mean that content would remain visible on Mr. Trump’s account but would not be distributed in people’s Feeds, even if they follow Mr. Trump. We may also remove the reshare button from such posts, and may stop them being recommended or run as ads.”

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In a post on Truth Social, the social media platform founded by Trump after his Twitter and Facebook bans, Trump weighed in on his reinstatement, writing: “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 on January 7, 2021, one day after a pro-Trump riot stormed the U.S. Capitol building to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election.

In a Facebook post announcing the decision, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company would block his Facebook and Instagram accounts “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

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Months later, the company’s Oversight Board, which is Facebook’s independent body that rules on content moderation decisions, upheld the company’s initial decision to ban Trump, and Facebook announced a decision to keep the former president suspended for at least 2 years, beginning on his initial date of suspension, January 7, 2021.

Trump lashed out at the company’s decision, calling Zuckerberg and other tech leaders “sick” in an interview with Fox News that year.

He filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google in 2021, claiming censorship, but it was dismissed by a California judge last year.

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