Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram Suspension Will Soon Be Lifted, But With ‘New Guardrails’

Meta Platforms, Inc (Nasdaq: META) will be ending former President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram suspension “in the coming weeks,” according to an announcement from Nick Clegg, the company’s president of global affairs. The decision follows an “unprecedented” two-year suspension that started on January 7, 2021.

Trump’s accounts on the two Meta-owned platforms were suspended “following his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021,” After an evaluation by its Oversight Board, the company then said that at the end of the two-year period, they would “look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded” based on the Crisis Policy Protocol that was introduced in late January last year.

“We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest,” they wrote on June 4 when they announced the limits of the January 7 ban. “If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded.”

The two-year period ended shortly before Trump officially announced that he would be running in the 2024 presidential election, and after his presidential campaign formally asked Meta to reinstate his accounts. 

RELATED: Donald Trump Won’t Be Fact-Checked On Facebook Anymore After Presidential Bid Announcement

Clegg noted in an Axios report that the company did not get in touch with Trump or his associates and that the process leading up to the decision whether to reinstate Trump’s accounts “was really about our decision on our terms.” 

The company determined, based on “the conduct of the US 2022 midterm elections, and expert assessments on the current security environment,” that the risk has sufficiently receded, and that they will be reinstating Trump’s accounts, provided that they will be subject to what Clegg called “new guardrails” to “deter repeat offenses.”

This means that Trump — along with other public figures who’ve had their accounts reinstated from suspensions related to civil unrest — will be subject not just to the regular community standards but also to heightened penalties for repeat offenses. 

The updated protocol will allow Meta to address posts that do not necessarily violate community standards but “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 may limit the reach of such posts, and restrict access to advertising tools for repeated instances.

“We just do not want — if he is to return to our services — for him to do what he did on January 6, which is to use our services to delegitimize the 2024 election, much as he sought to discredit the 2020 election,” Clegg told Axios.

The accounts will not be reinstated immediately after his announcement because the company’s engineers will need time to add on the functionality to implement these new guardrails.

Information for this story was found via BBC News, Axios, Reuters, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply