Meta Platform Inc said Wednesday it will restore former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks, following a two-year suspension following the serious riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump announced in November that he will seek another White House bid in 2024. Trump has 34 million followers on Facebook and 23 million on Instagram, platforms that are key vehicles for political outreach and fundraising.
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The social media company said in a blog post that it has “put in place new protective measures to deter repeated offenses.”
“Should Mr. Trump post more content that violates the rules, the content will be removed and suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, wrote in the blog post.
The decision to ban Trump was controversial for Meta, the world’s largest social media company, which before Trump’s suspension had never blocked the account of a sitting head of state for violating its content rules.
The company indefinitely revoked Trump’s access to its Facebook and Instagram accounts after removing two of his posts during the Capitol violence, including a video in which he reiterated his false claim of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election.
It then referred the case to its independent oversight board, which ruled that the suspension was justified but not because of its indeterminate nature. In response, Meta said it would review the suspension two years after it began.
Meta’s blog post on Wednesday suggested it can reactivate other suspended accounts, including those sanctioned for involvement in civil unrest. The company said those reinstated accounts would be subject to stricter review and penalties for violations.
It was unclear if Trump will seize the opportunity to return to Facebook and Instagram and how.
In November, he regained access to Twitter, his online megaphone that used to be the former president’s favorite.
Trump has sent no new tweets since recovering his account on the platform and said he would prefer to stick with his own Truth Social app. But his campaign spokesperson told Fox News Digital last week that returning to Facebook “will be an important tool for the 2024 campaign to reach voters.”
In a post on Truth Social, Trump responded to his reinstatement on Meta apps, saying, “Such a thing should never happen again to a sitting president, or anyone else who doesn’t deserve retribution!”
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