Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ :FB) will allow Donald Trump to rejoin its social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, two years after it banned the former US President.
Trump was expelled in 2021 following the January 6 US Capitol Riots. This was in response to his “praise” for those who engage in violence, Meta stated.
He will be reinstated on the site “in the next weeks”, but faces “heightened penalties” for repeat offenses, including further bans.
“The public should hear what their politicians say — the good, bad and ugly — so they can make informed decisions at the poll box,” stated Nick Clegg, Meta global affairs president. Clegg himself was a politician and at one time was the UK’s deputy prime minister.
Trump was also not banned from Twitter in November, but he has yet to post to his 87.7mln fans since he returned.
This move comes after Meta’s oversight board demanded more clarity about bans and punishments for violators of its content policies.
The board urged Meta to alter its policies last week to comply with “international human rights standards”, which concern gender identity.
Clegg also acknowledged that Meta’s decision could cause division in the public mind.
“We are aware that any decision we make regarding this issue will be harshly criticized. He said that reasonable people will disagree about whether the decision is right.
However, public debates about the decision have already started.
Angelo Carusone (head of Media Matters for America), stated that “Make no mistake, Donald Trump is being allowed back onto its platforms by Meta.”
“Like It or Not, President Trump is one the country’s most prominent political figures and the general public has a strong desire to hear his speech,” Anthony Romero (executive director of American Civil Liberties Union), stated in the meantime.