- The Washington Times
Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Meta said Wednesday it will soon lift its ban on former President Donald Trump, who was suspended from Facebook and Instagram after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in 2021.

Meta executive Nick Clegg said Mr. Trump will face heightened scrutiny upon his return.

“We will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks,” Mr. Clegg wrote on Meta’s blog. “However, we are doing so with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”

Meta said Mr. Trump would be subject to the company’s rules like other users, but he will also face “heightened penalties for 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,” Mr. Clegg wrote. “Our updated protocol also addresses content that does not violate our Community Standards but that contributes to the sort of risk that materialized on January 6th, such as content that delegitimizes an upcoming election or is related to QAnon.”

Mr. Trump had 34 million followers on Facebook and 25 million followers on Instagram at the time of his suspension.

The former president responded to Meta‘s announcement in a post on his social media platform, Truth Social, in which he criticized Facebook‘s decision-making. 

“Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!” Mr. Trump wrote.

“Thank you to Truth Social for doing such an incredible job. Your growth is outstanding, and future unlimited!!!” he wrote in screaming all-capital letters.

The timing of any return by Mr. Trump to Meta’s platforms remains unknown. His campaign had asked Meta to restore his accounts last week as he runs for president again in the 2024 election.

The former president is poised to put his own social media platform, Truth Social, first, however.

According to paperwork filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from his business partners in May 2022, he must, with limited exceptions, first post on Truth Social and then wait six hours before publishing on other social media platforms.

Meta is not the first social media platform that restored Mr. Trump’s access after enacting an indefinite ban.

Twitter owner Elon Musk permitted Mr. Trump’s return last year, however, he has not tweeted anything since.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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