Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has announced that Donald Trump’s accounts will be reinstated on the social media giant’s platforms, leaving some questioning the company’s decisions — and whether it will actually help the former president’s 2024 Oval Office ambitions.
Two years ago Facebook (which had not yet become Meta) and Twitter banned Mr Trump’s accounts on the social media platforms, deeming him in violation of their policies. The bans came in the wake of the Capitol riot, during which time Mr Trump waited hours to call off his loyalists attacking police officers and destroying property at the federal building.
Now, both Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta and Twitter – now under the leadership of conservative darling Elon Musk – have reversed course just in time for the 2024 election cycle.
“I was right about Meta all along. Everyone who trusted them — you’re all dupes,” Brooke Binkowski, the managing editor of TruthorFiction.com, wrote on Twitter in response to the news.
She was sceptical, however, as to how much Mr Trump’s return to Facebook and Instagram would ultimately help his campaign — and the tech company, which saw a value loss of $700bn in 2022, according to CBS News.
“It’s not gonna save Meta and it’s not gonna save Trump either,” she wrote. “That momentum is gone. He’s just another pathetic old racist with bad hygiene and no money.”
David Roberts, a clean energy and politics researcher, also expressed scepticism, but his was focused on Meta’s willingness to enforce its rules should Mr Trump break them.
“This is such a ridiculous joke. Everyone knows that no matter what standards there are, no matter how minimal, Trump will immediately violate them,” he wrote in a tweet. “Then ‘Meta’ will be stuck explaining why it won’t ban him again despite that.”
Meta’s President of Global Affairs announced Mr Trump’s return in a Twitter thread, noting the decision would be “fiercely criticised.” He noted the company did not want Mr Trump to use the platform to undermine the 2024 election in his announcement.
“We just do not want — if he is to return to our services — for him to do what he did on 6 January, which is to use our services to deligitimise the 2024 election, much as he sought to discredit the 2020 election,” he wrote.
The company said if Mr Trump did violate its rules, he would be suspended from the platform.
“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,” the company said in a statement.