Former President Donald Trump’s two-year suspension of Meta’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be lifted “in the coming weeks,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, said in a post Wednesday.
Clegg called the decision to suspend Trump from the platforms the product of “extreme and highly unusual circumstances,” reminding users that the then-president’s accounts had been indefinitely suspended “following his praise for people involved in violence in the Capitol” on January 6. 2021.
He noted that Meta’s independent oversight board had endorsed the decision, but criticized the suspension’s openness and “lack of clear criteria for when and if suspended accounts will be reinstated.” The board instructed Meta to come up with “a more proportionate response.”
Earlier this month, the Trump campaign asked Meta, Facebook’s parent company, to reinstate the former president on the social media platform.
Clegg suggested that social media’s origins are rooted in open, democratic debate, and that Meta’s platforms should not interfere with that, “especially in the context of elections.” But he warned there will still be limits.
“The public needs to be able to hear what their politicians are saying — the good, the bad and the ugly — so they can make informed choices at the polls,” Clegg said. “But that doesn’t mean there aren’t limits to what people can say on our platform. When there is a clear risk of harm in the real world – a deliberately high bar for Meta to intervene in public discourse – we step up.
Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social Wednesday afternoon claiming that Meta had “lost billions of dollars in value since stripping your favorite president, me, off his platform” and “something like this should never happen to a sitting president, or anyone else who deserves no retaliation!”
TSTIME News reporter on the intersection of politics and technology.
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