On Wednesday, Meta announced that it would restore Donald Trump’s inactive social media profiles from two years ago. Donald Trump is back to the metaverse news.
The rules of the most widely used social media site have been laid out explicitly for Trump to see.
Why did Facebook suspend Donald Trump?
Global Affairs President at Meta, Nick Clegg, Said “The normal state of affairs is that the public should be able to hear from a former President of the United States, and a declared candidate for that office again, on our platforms. Now that the time period of the suspension has elapsed, the question is not whether we choose to reinstate Mr. Trump’s accounts, but whether there remain such extraordinary circumstances that extending the suspension beyond the original two-year period is justified.”
Because of his support for the attackers in the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, Trump was permanently removed from Facebook and Instagram. While supporting the decision, Facebook’s Oversight Board did not endorse the indefinite suspension. After a two-year moratorium on the ban, Meta announced that it would delete public figures’ accounts during times of violence and unrest. Also, a strategy for quicker response times during emergencies was formulated.
Considering the history of threats and the current level of security, Clegg concluded that “the risk has sufficiently diminished.”
“As such, we will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks. However, we are doing so with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses,” Clegg said.
Meta still strict on Trump’s content policies
Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, reinstated Trump’s account, prompting the Meta announcement. Trump has launched Truth Social, his own social media platform, but he has not yet made any posts. When Facebook and Instagram were made available online again, the first news outlet to report it was Axios.
If Trump makes a mistake, Clegg wrote, he will be punished more harshly.
In his opinion, “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,” he wrote. Trump also could have other restrictions for posting content that does not violate Facebook or Instagram’s community standards but “contributes to the sort of risk that materialized on January 6, such as content that delegitimizes an upcoming election or is related to QAnon.”
Trump makes multiple posts a day on Truth Social, but his activity there is largely ignored in comparison to that on the most popular social media sites. He has denied any responsibility for the attack on the Capitol and has claimed without proof that the 2020 election was rigged.
In light of Facebook’s decision, he voiced his opinion on Truth Social. After losing billions of dollars in value after Facebook “deplatformed” him, he wrote, “Many people believe that companies like Meta should remove much more content than we currently do,” Clegg wrote. “Others argue that our current policies already make us overbearing censors. The fact is people will always say all kinds of things on the internet. We default to letting people speak, even when what they have to say is distasteful or factually wrong.”
Trump is “generally required” to post to Truth Social and has a six-hour cooling off period before he can share the same content on any other social media site, per the terms of his agreement with Truth Social. However, he is free to use any social media platform at any time so long as the content is related to “political messaging, political fundraising, or efforts to get people to the polls,” as stated in a filing he made with the SEC last year.
The board made it clear in an online post that the Meta Oversight Board played no part in making the choice. While it acknowledged the company had made significant strides in implementing necessary and proportionate penalties across a spectrum of violation severity, it still asked for clarification on its updated policies and how it determines whether permitted content still poses a “risk of offline harm.”
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