Meta is preparing to reinstate Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.
The tech giant announced the move in a news post Wednesday, more than two years after the former president was unceremoniously kicked off the platforms. The suspension was handed down in wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, which were fueled by Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen. Facebook and Instagram’s parent company accused the then-president of inciting violence in a number of posts that were ultimately removed. It went on to announce that the ban wouldn’t be lifted until at least 2023.
“Two years ago, we took action in what were extreme and highly unusual circumstances,” Meta President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg wrote in the post. “We indefinitely suspended then-U.S. President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. We then referred that decision to the Oversight Board — an expert body established to be an independent check and balance on our decision-making. The Board upheld the decision but criticized the open-ended nature of the suspension and the lack of clear criteria for when and whether suspended accounts will be restored, directing us to review the matter to determine a more proportionate response.”
Clegg explained that Meta is committed to open dialogue and believed the public should hear what politicians have to say, no matter how “bad” or “ugly” it might be. However, the company made it clear that it will not ignore any content that violates its community standards. Meta also said Trump and other political figures will be subjected to “heightened penalties for repeat offenses,” and could be suspended up to two years, “depending on the severity of the violation.”
The announcement came about two months after Trump’s Twitter account was reinstated. It remains unclear if the former president intends to return to Facebook and Instagram, as he’s primarily relied on his own platform, Truth Social, to communicate with his supporters.
“FACEBOOK, which has lost Billions of Dollars in value since ‘deplatforming’ your favorite President, me, has just announced that they are reinstating my account,” he wrote on Truth Social. “Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!”
Meta said Trump’s accounts are expected to be restored within the coming weeks.