Tech company Meta will reactivate former US President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts “in the coming weeks” after being suspended for two years, according to the president of global affairs, Nick Clegg.
The information was advanced to the US news site Axios.
“We’ve always believed that Americans should be able to listen to the people who want to lead the country. We don’t want to stand in the way of that,” Clegg said.
The decision sets a new precedent for how the Meta exposes world leaders, potentially influencing the 2024 US presidential election.
Facebook, like other social networks, suspended Trump after the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 for breaking the rules and inciting violence.
“We simply don’t want – if he returns to our services – for him to do what he did on January 6th. [de 2021]which is to use our services to delegitimize the 2024 elections, just as you tried to discredit the 2020 elections,” said the former UK Deputy Prime Minister.
However, Trump accounts will not be immediately reactive, as Meta engineers will need time to develop some new functionality needed to restrict some publications or ad features in the future, if necessary.
Trump will be subject to new policies on restricting the accounts of public figures during civil demonstrations. Meta may suspend the account of a public figure who violates our Community Standards for a period ranging from one month to two years.
More serious violations will warrant a content creation restriction for six or 12 months, or a full account restriction for two years, if serious.
“If he posts more infringing content now, that content will be removed, of course, and he could be suspended for one month to two years, depending on the severity of the infringing act,” Clegg said.
The president of global affairs also said that the company will have the power to act and can impose different types of protections, including limiting the distribution of publications if it removes them or temporarily suspends access to its advertising tools.
“Indirect references to QAnon content, for example,” he noted.
Clegg said Meta did not speak with Trump or any of his representatives before making the decision and does not know if the former US president plans to use the accounts after they are reactivated.
“The company will always be available to explain and emphasize the policies we’ve established. (…) I think it would help if Donald Trump’s team were as well informed as possible about where those lines are drawn and how those barriers are going to work,” he said. Clegg.
The reactivation of Trumo’s accounts will allow it to once again share information through its Facebook and Instagram pages, which have 34 million and 23 million followers, respectively.
Donald Trump has already been reinstated on Twitter on November 19, 2022, four days after he declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, but has not yet made any publications.
Last week, the former head of state had officially asked to be allowed to return to Facebook.
Lawyer Scott Gast sent a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg asking him for “a meeting to discuss the speedy readmission” on that social network.
“We believe that the suspension of President Trump’s Facebook account has radically distorted and restricted public debate,” reads the January 17 letter.