Donald Trump Reinstated on Facebook, Instagram

Donald Trump Reinstated on Facebook, Instagram
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower the day after FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago Palm Beach home, in New York on Aug. 9, 2022. (David 'Dee' Delgado/Reuters)
Jack Phillips

Meta restored former President Donald Trump’s access to Facebook and Instagram on Feb. 9.

Andy Stone, spokesperson for the Big Tech firm, told Reuters that Trump’s access was restored. The former president has 23 million followers on Instagram and 34 million on Facebook.
It came weeks after Meta said in a statement that his Facebook and Instagram pages would be reinstated, but it stressed that it would institute heightened penalties of a suspension between one month and two years if the former president violates the firm’s rules.
At the time, Meta’s President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, said the company no longer believes the former president’s Facebook account should be restricted.

New Facebook guardrails entail “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,” according to Clegg.

“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 said.

With Trump’s reinstatement, it gives him another way to fundraise for his 2024 presidential bid. Whether Trump uses the account is another question entirely, as the former president hasn’t indicated whether he would do so. After Meta’s announcement last month, Trump criticized the company and said it was losing revenue because it booted him from the platform two years ago.

“Sadly, Facebook has been doing very poorly since they took me off,” Trump wrote in January. “Whoever made that decision, and the decision to take me off, will go down in the Business Hall of Fame for two of the worst decisions in Business History!”

Trump was also restored on Twitter after new owner Elon Musk conducted a poll that found a majority thought the former president should return, although Trump hasn’t used it. Instead, Trump has opted to use his own Truth Social platform, where he frequently posts.

Musk has said that the January 2021 ban targeting Trump’s account was a “mistake” and “morally wrong.” The ban, Musk said last year, actually “alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”

A car passes Facebook's new Meta logo on a sign at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on Oct. 28, 2021. (Tony Avelar/AP Photo)
A car passes Facebook's new Meta logo on a sign at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on Oct. 28, 2021. (Tony Avelar/AP Photo)

No New Posts

As of Feb. 9, no new posts have been made to either Trump’s Instagram or Facebook accounts. His most recent post to Instagram, dated Jan. 5, 2021, promoted the “Save America” rally for Jan. 6, 2021.

His last post on Facebook before he was suspended called on people to leave the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order — respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!” his post stated.

ACLU Expresses Support

In a surprise move, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defended Meta’s decision to allow Trump back on Facebook and Instagram, saying it’s appropriate for the public to have wider access to messaging from one of the most popular political candidates in the country.

“This 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,” the ACLU, a group that has been criticized for increasingly shifting toward the left in recent years, wrote on Twitter in response to a New York Times article about Trump’s reinstatement.

The ACLU’s executive director, Anthony Romero, said the Mark Zuckerberg-operated Meta was making a good call by having Trump return.

“Indeed, some of Trump’s most offensive social media posts ended up being critical evidence in lawsuits filed against him and his administration. And we should know—we filed over 400 legal actions against him. While the government cannot force platforms to carry certain speech, that doesn’t mean the largest platforms should engage in political censorship,” Romero said in a statement to media outlets last month.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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