Donald Trump back on Instagram and Facebook: Why was he banned and for how long?
Donald Trump is back on Meta’s platforms, Instagram and Facebook. How long was he off, and why did he get banned?
In the final days of Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House, the president was banned from all major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The ban affected Mr. Trump so profoundly that he started his own social media company, modeled after Twitter, called Truth Social. Instead of sending a tweet, users send their truth.
As of 25 January 2022, Twitter and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and Whats App, have announced that Trump will be allowed to return to the platforms. Twitter CEO Elon Musk gave Trump his tweeting privileges back late last year after conducting a poll from his personal account. Meta has now stated that Trump will be allowed to return “in the coming weeks” but that the former president should be aware that he “faces heightened penalties for repeat offenses.”
Whether or not Donald Trump will take these platforms up on their offers remains to be seen.
Why was Donald Trump’s Facebook account suspended?
Meta made the decision to suspend President Trump’s accounts on 7 January 2021, the day after the riot at the Capitol.
In a statement announcing the return of the 45th president, the President for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, said that Trump’s accounts were suspended “following his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol.” The decision to remove the then-president was sent to “an expert body” for evaluation.
The panel said the platform was justified in removing Donald Trump “but criticized the open-ended nature of the suspension and the lack of clear criteria for when and whether suspended accounts will be restored.” Clegg explained that a concrete policy on suspensions, which included additional details for high-profile users, was established after the evaluation. Based on the policy, Trump’s account was suspended for two years, starting on 7 January 2021. When the date arrived, Meta did not mention any changes to the status of the suspension —bringing us to today.
Groups and individuals across the political spectrum endorsed Meta’s decision to lift the suspension. The ACLU tweeted, “This is the right call,” arguing that regardless of one’s personal feeling about Donald Trump, he “is one of the country’s leading political figures and the public has a strong interest in hearing his speech.”
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