October 3, 2023

Former President Donald Trump’s two-year suspension from 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.

Calling the decision to suspend Trump from the platforms the product of “extreme and highly unusual circumstances,” Clegg reminded users that the then-president’s accounts were indefinitely suspended “following his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol” on Jan. 6, 2021.

He noted that Meta’s independent oversight board had upheld the decision but criticized the open-endedness of the suspension and “the lack of clear criteria for when and whether suspended accounts will be restored.” The board directed Meta to come up with “a more proportionate response.”

Earlier this month, Trump’s 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 Meta’s platforms should not obstruct that, “especially in the context of elections.” But he warned there will still be limits.

“The public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying – the good, the bad and the ugly – so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box,” Clegg said. “But that does not mean there are no limits to what people can say on our platform. When there is a clear risk of real world harm – a deliberately high bar for Meta to intervene in public discourse – we act.”

Trump posted Wednesday afternoon on his social media platform Truth Social alleging that Meta had lost “Billions of Dollars in value since ‘deplatforming’ your favorite President, me” and “such a thing should never gain happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!” 

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