Meta will allow Donald Trump to return to Facebook and Instagram

Social media giant Meta announced, on Wednesday, that it will end, over the coming weeks, the suspension of its accounts Donald Trump on Facebook and Instagram, Two years after the removal of the former US president distanceCapitol assault.

“The public needs to be able to hear what politicians are saying so they can make informed decisions,” Meta’s head of international affairs, Nick Clegg, said in a statement.

But that doesn’t mean there are no limits to what people can say on our platform. When there is a risk of real-world harm — a risk so great as to warrant meta-interference in the public debate — we act,” he said.

The 2024 Republican presidential candidate was removed from the social network on January 7, 2021, while still in power, because he had encouraged his supporters during the attack on Congress in Washington the day before, an unprecedented decision that has been imitated. At the time by most of the mainstream social networks, including Twitter.

In June 2021, Facebook decided that the exclusion would last for two years, and that the Republican billionaire would only return when the “risks to public safety” had “disappeared”.

Donald Trump responded from his account on Truth Social, the social network he launched last year, that the comment “should never happen again to a sitting president or anyone who does not deserve sanctions.”

Election campaign

Last week, the former boss officially asked to return to Facebook.

His lawyer sent a letter to the founder and chairman of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, asking him not to “silence the presidential candidate.”

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The politician has already re-entered Twitter on November 19, 2022, four days after announcing his 2024 candidacy. However, he has yet to post a message on this account, mainly communicating through his own platform, Truth Social.

But the reach of Truth Social is much less compared to what Donald Trump had before.

Andrew Celebak, a professor of media and technology at the University of Florida, recently asserted on Twitter: “Trump needs (Facebook) to raise money.”

Meta “made the right decision. Like it or not, Mr. Trump is one of the nation’s leading political figures and it’s in the public interest for you to hear what he has to say,” responded Anthony Romero, director of the ACLU’s powerful Civil Rights Union.

It further notes that “some of the most shocking messages Trump has posted on social media have been used as evidence against him and his administration in lawsuits.”

“This is a disastrous and irresponsible decision by Mita, who would do so […] fueling the spread of hatred and misinformation,” for its part commented on the “Facebook Real Oversight Board,” an association that is highly critical of the social network.

” abnormal “

“We know that any decision on this subject will be highly criticized,” said Nick Clegg.

The world’s second largest online advertising is at the center of a debate between proponents of stricter moderation in content, to clean up platforms – generally on the left of the American political spectrum – and those who accuse big platforms of “censorship”, especially against Republicans, without evidence.

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Nick Clegg said suspending a president from power was an “extraordinary decision made in exceptional circumstances”.

Meta determined that “the risk to public safety has diminished enough” to allow Donald Trump to return, but implement new safeguards, especially against repeat offenders, to deter further violations of the two social networks’ rules.

Indeed, the company adopted a new network of sanctions in 2021, after a particularly tense US presidential campaign and the invasion of the Capitol on the day of the official victory in Joe Biden.

In addition to backing his supporters that day, Donald Trump has been hammering his “big lie” theory for months – unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from him.

Nick Clegg detailed: “If Mr Trump posts any infringing content again, it will be removed and he will be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the offense.”

In doing so, Meta will be able to curb the spread of messages that do not pose tangible risks but contribute to “undermining the legitimacy of elections.”

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