Two years after a mob stormed the US Capitol Hill, ex-president Donald Trump has gotten back his major social media accounts. Meta har now announced he gets back his Facebook and Instagram accounts and Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, has earlier said Trump can use his account again.
Trump had his accounts blocked as his social media activity was considered having stimulated the mob instead of stopping its attempts to stop the announcement that Joe Biden, and not Donald Trump, had won the presidential election. The issue is still an open wound in the US with discussions about what Trump did and did not do plus trials against members of the mob.
Trump has since then started his own social media outlet called Truth Social and announced that he will try to be the republican party’s candidate for the presidential elections in 2024.
He would have an economic interest in using his own social media outlet but with the political ambitions announced, the established social media accounts give hin a much wider audience.
Meta’s Nick Clegg, President, Global Affairs, says the suspension of Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be over in the coming weeks but with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.
“The public should be able to hear what politicians are saying so they can make informed choices.”
“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. But that does not mean there are no limits to what people can say on our platform. When there is a clear risk of real world harm — a deliberately high bar for Meta to intervene in public discourse — we act.”
“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, and expert assessments on the current security environment. Our determination is that the risk has sufficiently receded, and that we should therefore adhere to the two-year timeline we set out. As such, we will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks. However, we are doing so with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”
“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.”
Clegg says an updated protocol also addresses content that does not violate Meta Community Standards but that contributes to the sort of risk that materialized on January 6 when the mob stormed the Capitol, such as content that delegitimizes an upcoming election or is related to QAnon.
“We may limit the distribution of such posts, and for repeated instances, may temporarily restrict access to our advertising tools. This step would mean that content would remain visible on Mr. Trump’s account but would not be distributed in people’s Feeds, even if they follow Mr. Trump.”
“We may also remove the reshare button from such posts, and may stop them being recommended or run as ads. In the event that Mr. Trump posts content that violates the letter of the Community Standards but, under our newsworthy content policy, we assess there is a public interest in knowing that Mr. Trump made the statement that outweighs any potential harm, we may similarly opt to restrict the distribution of such posts but leave them visible on Mr. Trump’s account.”