Facebook parent Meta is reinstating former President Donald Trump’s personal account after a two-year suspension following the Jan. 6 uprising.
The company said in a blog post on Wednesday that it was adding “new safeguards” to ensure there were no “repeat offenders” who broke its rules.
“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,” wrote Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs at Meta. .
Trump, in a post on his own social media network, blasted Facebook’s decision to suspend his account as he praised his own site, Truth Social.
“FACEBOOK, which has lost billions of dollars since it ‘deplatformed’ your favorite president, me, just announced that it is reinstating my account. Such a thing should never happen to a sitting president again, or to anyone else who does not deserve retaliation!” he wrote.
He was suspended on January 7, a day after the deadly 2021 uprising. Other social media companies have also kicked him off their platforms, although he was recently reinstated on Twitter after Elon Musk took over the business. He didn’t tweet.
Civil rights groups and others were quick to denounce Meta’s decision. Letting Trump return to Facebook sends a signal to other figures with large online audiences that they can break the rules without lasting consequences, said Heidi Beirich, founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism and member of a group called the Real Facebook Oversight Board that criticized the platform’s efforts.
“I’m not surprised but it’s a disaster,” Beirich said of Meta’s decision. “Facebook created loopholes for Trump that he walked through. He instigated an insurrection on Facebook. And now he’s back.
Clegg said that in light of his previous violations, Trump now faces stiffer penalties for repeat violations. These sanctions “will apply to other public figures whose accounts are reinstated following civil unrest-related suspensions under our updated protocol.”
If Trump — or anyone else — posts material that doesn’t violate Facebook’s rules but is otherwise harmful and could lead to events like the Jan. 6 insurrection, Meta says he won’t. will not remove but will limit its scope. This includes praising the QAnon conspiracy theory or trying to delegitimize an upcoming election.
Meta said Trump’s accounts will be restored in the coming weeks on Facebook and Instagram. Banned from mainstream social media, Trump relied on Truth Social, which he started after being blocked on Twitter.
Associated Press writer David Klepper in Washington contributed to this story.
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