Meta To Reinstate Donald Trump's Facebook, Instagram Accounts

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Meta Platforms announced its plans to end suspension of the former U.S. President Donald Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks.

Further, the company has put new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses, Global Affairs President Nick Clegg said in a statement.

The decision comes after two years of banning him on the social media platforms following his praise for people engaged in violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. CNN reported that Trump's campaign earlier this month had sent a letter to Meta petitioning the company to unblock his Facebook account.

In a post on Truth Social, which he unveiled following ban from multiple social media platforms, Trump acknowledged Meta's decision, and said that such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution.

Meta had imposed a time-bound suspension of two years to Trump from the date of the original suspension on January 7, 2021, one day after his supporters stormed the Capitol aiming to overturn the 2020 election results.

According to Clegg, the suspension was an extraordinary decision taken in extraordinary circumstances, and that the public should be able to hear what politicians are saying, the good, the bad and the ugly, so they can make informed choices at the ballot box.

Clegg said, "To assess whether the serious risk to public safety that existed in January 2021 has sufficiently receded, we have evaluated the current environment according to our Crisis Policy Protocol, which included looking at the conduct of the US 2022 midterm elections.... Our determination is that the risk has sufficiently receded, and that we should therefore adhere to the two-year timeline we set out."

Meta considers that the public should be able to hear from a former President of the United States, and a declared candidate for that office again, on its platforms. However, it will act when there is a clear risk of real world harm, a deliberately high bar for the firm to intervene in public discourse.

The company noted that Trump is subject to Community Standards like any other Facebook or Instagram user, and he also faces heightened penalties for repeat offenses in light of his violations.

In the event that 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.

Under its updated protocol, it will take action against a content that does not violate Community Standards but that contributes to the sort of risk that materialized on January 6, such as content that delegitimizes an upcoming election or is related to Qanon.

Meta said it may limit the distribution of such posts, and for repeated instances, may temporarily restrict access to advertising tools. In such cases, the content would remain visible on one's account but would not be distributed in people's Feeds, even if they follow the account.

The company may also remove the reshare button from such posts, and may stop them being recommended or run as ads.

Twitter, which also had banned Trump following the Capitol incident, had restored his account in November after billionaire Elon Musk acquired the social media platform.

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