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Facebook to reinstate Trump’s accounts after 2-year ban

Former President of the United States Donald Trump at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., July 24, 2022. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
January 25, 2023

Former President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be reinstated in the coming weeks after a 2-year ban, the platforms’ parent company Meta announced on Wednesday.

“Our determination is that the risk has sufficiently receded, and that we should therefore adhere to the two-year timeline we set out. As such, we will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks,” the social media giant’s announcement stated, adding that “new guardrails” will be put in place to “deter repeat offenses.”

“Like any other Facebook or Instagram user, Mr. Trump is subject to our Community Standards. In light of his violations, he now also faces 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,” the announcement continued. “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.”

In June 2021, Meta announced that Trump’s ban would remain in effect for at least two years from the date of his initial suspension on January 7, 2021.

“We are today announcing new enforcement protocols to be applied in exceptional cases such as this, and we are confirming the time-bound penalty consistent with those protocols which we are applying to Mr. Trump’s accounts,” Facebook’s press release on the matter stated at the time. “Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump’s suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols.”

Facebook initially suspended Trump from its platform because, at the time, the “risks of allowing the President” to post on Facebook for the remainder of his term “are simply too great,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg asserted in the wake of the storming on Capitol Hill.

After two years, Facebook said it will “look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.”

“We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest. 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,” the company stated.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.