“We just do not want — if he is to return to our services — for him to do what he did on January 6, which is to use our services to delegitimize the 2024 election, much as he sought to discredit the 2020 election.”
Meta announced the reinstatement of President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts after a two-year suspension.
Meta is the parent company of the two social media platforms.
Nick Clegg, Meta’s president, told Axios Trump will have guardrails: “We just do not want — if he is to return to our services — for him to do what he did on January 6, which is to use our services to delegitimize the 2024 election, much as he sought to discredit the 2020 election.”
Therefore, the reinstatement will not happen right away. Clegg explained the engineers “need time to build out some of the new functionality necessary to restrict certain posts or ad capabilities in the future, if needed.”
The new policies in place came from feedback given by the Oversight board:
How it works: Trump will be subject to new policies around restricting accounts by public figures during civil unrest. Under those policies, Meta can decide to restrict the account of a public figure that violates its community standards for a time ranging from one month to two years.
- Trump will also be subject to a crisis policy protocol, introduced by Meta in August, that will consider both on and off-platform risks of imminent harm to evaluating whether the actions or speech of any public figures requires sanctioning.
- “If he now posts further violating content, that content will be removed, of course, and he could be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation,” Clegg said.
Trump could face punishment for anything that doesn’t violate Meta’s community standards:
Be smart: For actions or speech that don’t explicitly violate Meta’s community standards, Clegg said the company will retain discretion to take action, and may enforce different types of guardrails, including limiting the distribution of posts without removing them or temporarily restricting access to its advertising tools.
- “Oblique references to QAnon content, for instance … is the kind of material that — even if it’s done obliquely, and doesn’t violate our community standards — we would seek to restrict the distribution of the content and/or restrict his ability to advertise,” he said.
- These steps would allow content to remain visible on Trump’s account but not get distributed in users’ feeds, even for those that follow the former president.
- For example, Meta may opt to remove the “re-share” button from such posts, and may stop them from being recommended or run as ads.
Of note: If Trump posts content that violates the company’s standards, but falls within Meta’s characterization of “newsworthy content” — meaning the public interest in understanding what Trump said outweighs any potential harm — the company may opt to restrict the distribution of the content but leave it up.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.