After two years of uncertainty, the Facebook and Instagram accounts of 45th President Donald Trump have been restored.
In 2021, the social media platforms took action against the then-sitting President in the wake of the events of January 6, after they claimed that he was inciting violence. On Wednesday, parent company Meta announced that the bans have been rescinded.
Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, said in a blog post that “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.”
He also acknowledged the ongoing debate on social media platforms: “There is a significant debate about how social media companies should approach content posted on their platforms. Many people believe that companies like Meta should remove much more content than we currently do. Others argue that our current policies already make us overbearing censors.”
Gage Skidmore / Flickr / Edited
The decision to lift Donald Trump’s ban comes as a relief for many of his supporters who were concerned by what they saw as an attack on free speech. Supporters celebrated this decision as a victory for free expression and an acknowledgement from social media companies that it was wrong to censor a political figure who had been democratically elected.
Donald Trump himself welcomed the news, but questioned why he was banned at all, in a post on Truth Social.
“FACEBOOK, which has lost Billions of Dollars in value since “deplatforming” your favorite President, me, has just announced that they are reinstating my account,” wrote Trump.
The 45th President continued, “Such a thing should never happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!”
The announcement also drew criticism from many who argued that Donald Trump had consistently used social media to spread “hateful and dangerous rhetoric.”
Meta’s decision to reinstate Trump comes amid the backdrop of African-American billionaire Elon Musk claiming to usher in a new free speech era on competing social media platform Twitter. Some have speculated that Meta may now be concerned with appearing to be pro-censorship, compared to Musk’s purportedly pro-free speech platform.
This news and commentary by Analise Morrow originally appeared on Valiant News.