Two years after breaking into the Capitol: Trump will return to Facebook and Instagram

Two years after breaking into the Capitol: Trump will return to Facebook and Instagram

The company Meta announced yesterday that it will restore the Facebook and Instagram accounts of Donald Trump in the coming weeks. This will end a two-year suspension, which began following the former US president’s role in the violent protest at the Capitol on January 6 following Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election.

The company’s official blog said “new guardrails” will be put in place to ensure there are no “repeat offenders” who break its rules, even if they are political candidates or international leaders. “The public needs to be able to hear what their elected officials say – the good, the bad and the ugly – so that they can make an informed decision at the ballot box,” wrote Nick Clegg, VP of Global Affairs at Meta.

Clegg added that when there is a “clear risk” of harm in the real world, the company will intervene: “In the event that Mr. Trump publishes additional infringing content, the content will be removed and he will be suspended for one month to two years, depending on the severity of the violation.”

On January 7, 2021, the day after the violent protest, Facebook suspended Trump because he praised those involved in the violent acts at the Capitol. But the company rejected calls – including from its own employees – to completely delete the president’s account.

In the last two years, Trump, who was blocked on all popular social networks, was active in “Truth Social”, the network he launched after he was also blocked on Twitter.

Facebook was a crucial source of fundraising for Trump’s election campaigns – and also for their expenses: Trump spent millions of dollars on online advertising in 2016 and 2020. Trump’s move back online, announced as the former president warms up his engines for a 2024 presidential bid, will not only allow him to communicate directly with his 34 million followers—far more than the 4.8 million who currently follow him on Truth Social—but also allow him to renew fundraising. During the suspension, his supporters managed to raise money for him, but could not run advertisements directly from his accounts.

In response to Facebook’s announcement, Trump attacked the original decision to suspend him on his network. “Facebook, which has lost billions of dollars since the ousting of your beloved president, me, has just announced that it is restoring my account. This should never happen again to a sitting president, or anyone else who does not deserve retaliation!”

Recently, Trump also had his Twitter account returned, after Elon Musk purchased the social network. He said he would not return there; Indeed he hasn’t tweeted since then.


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