Donal Trump is again on Twitter after Elon Musk, twitter’s new owner, retracted the ban on Trump in November 2022. Since then, there were news all around about Trump re-joining other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Facebook owner Meta Inc is planning to announce whether it will allow Trump again on the platforms or not.
Nearly two months after his account was reinstated by Musk, the former president has yet to tweet, raising the question of whether he would even return to Facebook if allowed.
Meta had suspended Donald Trump from Facebook and Instagram over his actions during the January 6 Capitol riots. Now, a major decision awaits, to reinstate Trump’s account, or keep him off the platform for good?
The social media giant had previously said it will decide by Jan 7 whether to allow the former president to return. However, that decision is now expected to be announced later in the month.
It’s an interesting decision that will set a new yardstick for how social media firms balance free speech with content moderation, especially when it comes to world leaders and other newsworthy individuals.
“Trump’s behaviour and language have gotten significantly worse and more extreme since he was first suspended from the Facebook platform,” said James Steyer, the founder and CEO of online safety organization Common Sense Media.
“Permitting him to return now would be a serious affront to our democracy and to Meta’s own publicly declared standards. The ban should be made permanent.”
“If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded,” Clegg added.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a 2021 post that Trump had been barred from the platforms for encouraging violence and that he would remain suspended until a peaceful transition of power could take place. “His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world,” Zuckerberg said.
Trump said that “Facebook has been doing very poorly since they took me off” and has “become very boring.” he said in a statement. “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!”
Hopefully, Facebook will be able to turn it around. Maybe their first step should be to get away from the ridiculous change in name to Meta, and go back to ‘Facebook’
Trump, for his part, appears to have soured on his preferred platforms of the past. In an interview with Fox News, Trump suggested he would not be tweeting again. “I am staying on Truth. I like it better, I like the way it works, I like Elon, but I’m staying on Truth,” he said. In the aftermath of his removal from Meta platforms, Trump has been highly critical of Facebook and Zuckerberg. “Sadly, Facebook has been doing very poorly since they took me off,” he wrote on Truth Social. “It has lost $750bn in value and has become very boring.”
Despite the diminishing power of Facebook as a platform, a Trump return would directly contribute to the continuing mainstream acceptance of dangerous Qanon ideologies and other conspiracy theories, said Carusone.
Facebook’s userbase has also repeatedly declined over the past year, giving Trump – who had 34m followers at the time of his suspension – less of an impact if he were to return.