Donald Trump allowed back on Facebook and Instagram
npr.org | Jan 25, 2023
Facebook has reinstated former President Donald Trump’s account, which had been suspended after the Capitol insurrection, and has set out new rules for public figures in times of civil unrest and violence. Trump has been using Truth Social as his main mouthpiece since his removal from mainstream social media.
Democratic lawmakers have urged Meta not to reinstate Trump’s account on Truth Social due to his posts promoting QAnon-tied conspiracy theories and casting doubt on the integrity of the 2022 midterm elections.
- Facebook Reinstates Former President Donald Trump’s Account
•Facebook parent Meta has reversed its most high-profile and controversial decision to suspend former President Donald Trump’s account.
•Trump’s accounts will be reinstated “in the coming weeks” with new guardrails “to deter repeat offenses”.
•Should he break Meta’s rules, Trump could face “heightened penalties” such as removal of his posts and even a two-year suspension.
•This move has thrust Meta back into the middle of a contentious debate over tech platforms’ power to determine who gets a voice online.
•Civil rights and advocacy groups have expressed immediate blowback, calling out Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg for prioritizing profits over safety.
- Meta’s Decision to Reinstate Trump
•Wendy Via warned that Trump’s reinstatement has worldwide implications, as authoritarian politicians will be inspired by his successful manipulation of Facebook.
•Trump’s Facebook account had 35 million followers when it was suspended.
•Facebook initially suspended Trump indefinitely after the Capitol insurrection, but later revised the penalty to a two-year ban.
•Meta’s Oversight Board slammed the decision as vague.
•Before reinstating Trump, Facebook will consult experts to determine if “the risk to public safety has receded”.
•If Trump violates the rules again, his posts could be limited in distribution.
•Since his removal from mainstream social media, Trump has used Truth Social as his main mouthpiece.
- Trump’s Truth Social Posts
•Trump’s Truth Social posts have been estimated to violate Facebook’s rules against QAnon content, false election claims, and harassment of marginalized groups.
•Democratic lawmakers have urged Meta not to reinstate Trump’s account, citing posts casting doubt on the 2022 midterm elections, denying his 2020 election loss, and amplifying QAnon-tied accounts.
•Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse wrote a December letter to the company, cautioning that Trump’s “conspiratorial rhetoric” could return to Facebook if given the chance.
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