Facebook parent company Meta has revealed that former President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be unbanned.
Trump was kicked off both platforms after Facebook ludicrously alleged he stoked a riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Despite claims by Facebook to the contrary, the former president notably told protestors that day to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard.
Nick Clegg, who serves as president of global affairs at Meta, indicated that Trump will be allowed to access the platforms once more in the coming weeks. He also stipulated that the unbanning comes with “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses,” including, “heightened penalties for repeat offenses — penalties which will apply to other public figures whose accounts are reinstated from suspensions related to civil unrest under our updated protocol.”
He added, “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.”
The former president reacted to the news of his reinstatement, announcing that Facebook lost “billions of dollars in value” as a result of not having him on there.
“Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!” he posted on Truth Social.
Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) expressed dismay over the news, criticizing Facebook for no longer censoring the speech of a former sitting U.S. president.
“Trump incited an insurrection. And tried to stop the peaceful transfer of power,” he wrote online.
“Giving him back access to a social media platform to spread his lies and demagoguery is dangerous,” he asserted, before accusing Facebook of caving.
Trump incited an insurrection. And tried to stop the peaceful transfer of power.
He’s shown no remorse. No contrition.
Giving him back access to a social media platform to spread his lies and demagoguery is dangerous.@facebook caved, giving him a platform to do more harm.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 25, 2023
Trump’s lawyer Scott Gast wrote a letter requesting the former president be unbanned last week, arguing that Meta’s decision to banish him from the platform “dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse.”
American Civil Liberties Union executive director Anthony Romero said that Meta unbanning Trump is “the right call.”
“Like it or not, President Trump is one of the country’s leading political figures and the public has a strong interest in hearing his speech,” stated Romero.
“Indeed, some of Trump’s most offensive social media posts ended up being critical evidence in lawsuits filed against him and his administration.”