Donald Trump is primed to get his Facebook and Instagram accounts back, as parent company Meta has decided that the ex-president who used social media to incite an insurrection should get another crack at posting to its platforms.
A Meta spokesperson directed Rolling Stone to the company’s posted statement, which described his reinstatement as rooted in the belief that the “public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying — the good, the bad and the ugly — so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box.” The news was first reported by Axios.
Meta says its decision to allow Trump back onto Facebook was informed by the company’s belief that the “risk has sufficiently receded” since the former president’s original ouster from the platform following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The company says it based the conclusion on a review of the 2022 midterms and “expert assessments on the current security environment.”
On his Truth Social account, Trump celebrated the decision while criticizing Meta. “Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!”
New violations from Trump could produce suspension of between 30 days and two years, “depending on the severity of the violation.” In addition, Meta officials say they will limit the distribution of material that doesn’t violate the company’s stated rules but “contributes to the sort of risk that materialized on January 6, such as content that delegitimizes an upcoming election or is related to QAnon.”
Left unstated in the announcement is that Meta’s independent oversight board is also equipped with new jurisdiction since Trump was suspended on Jan. 6. Shortly before it released its decision on Trump’s original suspension, the board announced that it would now accept appeals to remove content that third parties believe to be in violation of Meta’s community standards. Future incendiary Trump posts on Facebook could face an additional and potentially more rigorous layer of review from the board, which is more insulated from politics.
Trump rarely used his Facebook account to post unique or exclusive content during his presidency. In interviews, Trump confidant and TMTG CEO Devin Nunes has framed Trump’s return to the platform as driven less by the former president’s posting preferences and more about the requirements of advertising for the upcoming 2024 presidential campaign.
“What this stems from is that the Trump campaign went to Facebook and Instagram to say, ‘Look, we need to be able to use your platform,’” Nunes told Fox News before the decision was announced on Wednesday. “Facebook and Instagram have well over probably 100 million Americans that are on the platform. Right now you have the leading presidential contender who cannot advertise; the campaign cannot operate on those platforms.”
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Trump’s return to Facebook follows Twitter’s decision under new owner Elon Musk to reinstate the former president’s beloved account and all but beg for his return. Trump had previously stated that he was content to stay at his own social media company, Truth Social. But as Rolling Stone reported, associates say Trump has already begun to workshop ideas for triumphant return tweets, including a possible WWE-style video.
Trump’s social media exclusivity term with Truth Social, an agreement that requires him to post content there first for at least six hours before posting elsewhere, could expire in June, leading to questions about the company’s future. In his post there celebrating the Facebook decision on Wednesday, Trump praised the company. “THANK YOU TO TRUTH SOCIAL FOR DOING SUCH AN INCREDIBLE JOB. YOUR GROWTH IS OUTSTANDING, AND FUTURE UNLIMITED!!!,” he wrote.