Meta Platforms Inc announced that it will be reinstating former President Donald Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks, following a two-year suspension after the January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill riot. This move has sparked both support and criticism.
On one hand, supporters of free speech argue that it is appropriate for the public to have access to messaging from political candidates. On the other hand, critics of Meta Platforms have accused the company of having lax moderating policies and question if they have the capacity to understand the real world harm that Trump poses.
While Trump's social media accounts were suspended, he has been relatively quiet on the political front. However, with the announcement of his run for presidency in 2024, the restoration of his accounts could provide a boost to his campaign. With 34 million followers on Facebook and 23 million on Instagram, these platforms are key vehicles for political outreach and fundraising.
In response to the criticism, Meta Platforms has stated that they have "put new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses." They have also stated that in the event that 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.
The decision to reinstate Trump's accounts has received mixed reactions, with some praising the move as a step towards free speech and others criticizing it as a lack of accountability. It remains to be seen how this decision will play out and what impact it will have on Trump's future political endeavors.
Donald Trump has not yet utilized his regained Twitter account since it was restored, instead opting to continue using his own app, Truth Social. However, a spokesperson for his campaign recently stated to Fox News Digital that having access to Facebook once again will be a crucial tool for the 2024 campaign to connect with voters.