Former President Donald Trump could be allowed back on Facebook in time for the 2024 presidential election.
This, according to Nick Clegg, the president of Global Affairs for Meta Platforms, who is in charge of deciding whether or not to lift the ban.
Clegg, speaking at a Semafor Exchange event in Washington, D.C., said the restrictions on Trump’s account could be removed as soon as January of 2023, when his suspension is due to expire.
Readers may recall that Facebook “suspended” Trump’s account after the Capitol riot – later extending the suspension for two entire years.
Reporter Morgan Chalfant indicates that while the Meta executive isn’t revealing his hand on what the decision will be, he “makes clear that it’s possible Trump could be allowed back on.”
“We’ll make it methodically and announce it soberly,” Clegg said of the decision.
META’s Nick Clegg says that META will decide in early next year — around Jan. 7 — whether to allow former President Trump back onto Facebook. He won’t say where they’re leaning but makes clear that it’s possible Trump could be allowed back on.
— Morgan Chalfant (@mchalfant16) September 22, 2022
Conditions For Trump to be Back on Facebook
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At the time of his original suspension for supposedly inciting violence involved with the January 6 riot at the Capitol, Trump had over 35 million followers.
The company said he would only be allowed back on the site if “the risk to public safety has receded.”
Clegg’s comments seem to indicate that is still a concern and Facebook needs to proceed with caution.
“When you make a decision that affects the public realm, you need to act with great caution,” he said. “You shouldn’t throw your weight about.”
“If we think there is content on our platform which will lead to real-world harm — physical harm — then we feel we have a clear responsibility to act against it,” added Clegg.
Meta executive @nickclegg tells @SCClemons that Trump “could be” allowed back on FB by Jan. 7, 2023, because it was a two-year suspension — not permanent ban. But there will be an evaluation and nothing has been decided yet @semafor pic.twitter.com/lU5C9t3Q6P
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) September 22, 2022
Clegg has called the ban on Trump during the time of the riot “necessary and right,” noting that “the unprecedented circumstances justified the exceptional measure we took.”
Facebook’s Oversight Board ruled to keep the ban in place back in May of 2021 but admitted it was “not appropriate” for the suspension to go on indefinitely.
Nick Clegg says Meta could lift its ban on Donald Trump’s accounts in January 2023, when the current suspension expires, after it consults with experts (@ginachon / Semafor Media)https://t.co/KmQaeDZ514https://t.co/ssSD3TDDaa
— Techmeme (@Techmeme) September 22, 2022
Would Trump Go Back?
If Facebook is concerned about a ‘risk to public safety’ they’d be reviewing President Biden’s page where he has been dehumanizing ‘MAGA Republicans’ by casting them as a “threat to democracy.”
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 21, 2022
Earlier this week, a North Dakota man was charged with vehicular homicide after striking and killing a teenager that he believed “was part of a Republican extremist group.”
Cayler Ellingson was murdered by a left-wing extremist in North Dakota
He was run over for being a Republican pic.twitter.com/ss39I1YzYj
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) September 20, 2022
Trump has repeatedly railed against Big Tech giants like Twitter and Facebook, saying their efforts to ban him are “a total disgrace.”
“Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth,” he said. “These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price.”
New Trump statement responding to Facebook’s decision to uphold its ban. pic.twitter.com/PIpszqMpeL
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) May 5, 2021
Trump currently has over 4 million followers on his Truth Social media platform and would likely be reluctant to reemerge on Facebook. But 35 million people and an amplified reach prior to the 2024 election will be hard to pass up.
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