Former President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts were restored Wednesday afternoon following a two-year suspension, effectively ending his post-January 6 bans from the most popular social media platforms as his 2024 presidential campaign ramps up.
Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta said in a statement it doesn’t believe his presence on the platforms poses the same “serious risk to public safety” it says existed immediately after the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Facebook suspended Trump indefinitely on January 7, 2021, before later saying the ban would last for at least two years.
Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign formally asked Meta to reinstate him last week, arguing in a letter the suspension “dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse.”
Meta said it reserves the right to limit the reach of Trump posts that might question the results of elections, push QAnon ideology or otherwise contribute “to the sort of risk that materialized on January 6th” through methods like removing the reshare button and keeping the posts from being recommended.
“We believe it is both necessary and possible to draw a line between content that is harmful and should be removed, and content that, however distasteful or inaccurate, is part of the rough and tumble of life in a free society,” Meta spokesman Nick Clegg wrote.
Trump was banned from effectively every major social media site after a mob of his supporters carried out the deadly attack on the Capitol. Platforms generally cited risks of violence as reasons for the bans, after Trump tweeted conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and attacked former Vice President Mike Pence while the Capitol was being stormed. Trump launched his own social media company—Truth Social—early last year, which is now home to his primary online presence. Trump has remained on Truth Social even though Twitter owner Elon Musk reinstated him to the platform in November. NBC News reported last week Trump is strongly considering a return to Twitter.
What To Watch For
Trump’s earlier presidential bids extensively used Facebook for fundraising, with his 2020 reelection effort spending nine figures on Facebook advertising.
Facebook To Keep Trump Suspended For 2 Years, Then Assess ‘Risk To Public Safety’ (Forbes)
Trump Campaign Urges Facebook To Remove Block On His Account As He Gears Up For Presidential Run (Forbes)
Twitter Permanently Bans Trump (Forbes)
Elon Musk Reinstates Donald Trump’s Twitter Account After Asking Users To Vote (Forbes)