Social media giant Meta has announced that it will lift former President Donald Trump’s two-year suspension from its Facebook and Instagram platforms. “Calling the suspension an extraordinary decision made under extraordinary circumstances,” Meta posted a press release on their website Wednesday, saying Trump will be allowed to return to her platform in the coming weeks.”
“Social media is rooted in the belief that open debate and the free flow of ideas are important values, especially at a time when they are under threat in many places around the world,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, wrote in the release. The suspension was initially enacted on January 7, 2021, the day after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential elections, which the Republican had lost to Democrat Joe Biden.
Meta said it would put “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses”. Among them are “heightened penalties” for repeat offenders, with further suspensions that could last anywhere from one month to two years. Meta also “may temporarily restrict access to our advertising tools” in the case of repeated infractions. The company said these penalties would also apply to “other public figures whose accounts are reinstated from suspensions related to civil unrest”. The company has faced criticism for not doing more to censor hate speech, misinformation, and other violations of its content rules. In 2021, for instance, Rohingya refugees filed a lawsuit against the Facebook owner for its alleged role in promoting violence against the ethnic group in Myanmar.
Earlier this month, the former president’s lawyers sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asking for his reinstatement. Trump announced in November last year that he would seek a second term as president in 2024. That same month, Trump was reposted on the social media platform Twitter after taking an online poll on whether new owner Elon Musk would revive the former president.