Facebook reinstates Trump after suspension

Meta Platforms says it will restore former US president Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in coming weeks, following his two-year suspension after the deadly January 6 Capitol Hill riot.

The social media company said in a blog post on Thursday (Australian time) it had “put new guardrails in place to deter repeat offences”.

Mr Trump has said he will make another run for the White House in 2024, and Facebook and Instagram are key vehicles for political outreach and fundraising.

In November he regained access to Twitter, his once-favoured online megaphone, and a few weeks after he said he was in talks with Meta about returning.

“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,” wrote Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, in the blog post.

The decision to ban Mr Trump was a polarising one for Meta, the world’s biggest social media company. Until the Mr Trump, it had never blocked the account of a sitting head of state for violating its content rules.

The company indefinitely revoked Mr Trump’s access to his Facebook and Instagram accounts after removing two of his posts during the riot in January 2021, including a video in which he reiterated his false claim of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election.

Other social media companies also kicked him off their platforms, though he was recently reinstated on Twitter after Elon Musk took over the company. He has not tweeted.

Banned from mainstream social media, Mr Trump has instead relied on his own, much smaller site, Truth Social, which he launched after being blocked from Twitter.

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