Meta to end suspension of Trump’s FB, Insta accounts
Meta will be ending the suspension of Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks.
It was two years ago that Meta indefinitely suspended then-US President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol on January 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,” said By Nick Clegg, President, Global Affairs.
In response to the Board, Meta imposed a time-bound suspension of two years from the date of the original suspension on January 7, 2021 — an unprecedented length of time for such a suspension. Meta also clarified the circumstances in which accounts of public figures could be restricted during times of civil unrest and ongoing violence, and introduced a new Crisis Policy Protocol to guide its assessment of on and off-platform risks of imminent harm so it can respond with specific policy and product actions.
“In our response to the Oversight Board, we also said that before making any decision on whether or not to lift Mr. Trump’s suspension, we would assess whether the risk to public safety has receded. The suspension was an extraordinary decision taken in extraordinary circumstances. The normal state of affairs is 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 our platforms. Now that the time period of the suspension has elapsed, the question is not whether we choose to reinstate Mr. Trump’s accounts, but whether there remain such extraordinary circumstances that extending the suspension beyond the original two-year period is justified,” Nick said.
Like any other Facebook or Instagram user, Trump is subject to Meta’s Community Standards, said Nick.
“In light of his violations, he now also faces heightened penalties for repeat offenses — penalties which will apply to other public figures whose accounts are reinstated from suspensions related to civil unrest under our updated protocol. In the event that Mr. 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,” he adds.