Former President Donald Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram are being reinstated, the parent company of both social media accounts announced on Wednesday.
According to a release on Meta’s website, Nick Clegg, the company’s president of global affairs, said Trump’s accounts will be reinstated “in the coming weeks” and will have “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”
Meta handed down a two-year ban on Trump’s accounts the day after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection, according to The Hill. The company said in a release that it will unlock Trump’s accounts but will apply heightened penalties for future offenses.
“Social media is rooted in the belief that open debate and the free flow of ideas are important values, especially at a time when they are under threat in many places around the world,” Clegg wrote. “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.”
Clegg added that Trump’s suspensions in the wake of the Capitol disturbance came after “extreme and highly unusual circumstances.”
A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment, according to NBC News.
Trump’s reinstatement comes two months after Twitter owner Elon Musk announced that the former president would be reinstated to the social media platform. Musk held a poll that asked Twitter users to click “yes” or “no” on whether Trump’s account should be restored. The “yes” vote won, with 51.2%, according to The Associated Press.
He has yet to tweet since his reinstatement, the AP reported.
Trump’s presidential campaign officially petitioned Meta to reinstate the former president earlier this month, NBC News reported.
“We believe that the ban on President Trump’s account on Facebook has dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse,” Trump’s campaign wrote in its Jan. 17 letter to Meta, according to a copy of the letter reviewed by the news outlet.
“If Facebook wants to have this fight, fine, but the House is leverage, and keeping Trump off Facebook just looks political,” an adviser to Trump told NBC News. The adviser spoke with the news outlet earlier this month on the condition of anonymity.
After he was banned from mainstream media, Trump launched his own site, Truth Social, according to the AP.
Clegg wrote that if Trump violates platform policies in the future, he could be suspended for at least one month and up to two years.
“There is a significant debate about how social media companies should approach content posted on their platforms. Many people believe that companies like Meta should remove much more content than we currently do. Others argue that our current policies already make us overbearing censors,” Clegg wrote. “The fact is people will always say all kinds of things on the internet. We default to letting people speak, even when what they have to say is distasteful or factually wrong. Democracy is messy and people should be able to make their voices heard.
“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.”
©2022 Cox Media Group