Trump's Facebook, Instagram accounts to be restored

STORY: Facebook parent Meta says it’s reinstating the accounts of U.S. President Donald Trump on the platform as well as Instagram in the coming weeks.

He was kicked off the platforms for two years, after what the company called “praise for people engaged in violence” at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.

In a Wednesday (January 25) blog post, Meta claims “new guardrails” were added to deter “repeat offenses”.

Its president of global affairs Nick Clegg said Trump will face “heightened penalties”, in light of his violations.

If he breaks Meta’s Community Standards again, it could result in a new suspension ranging from one month to two years, depending on the severity.

The restoration of Trump’s accounts comes after he announced he would run for president in 2024.

With 34 million followers on Facebook and 23 million on Instagram, the platforms could provide a boost for Trump in terms of political outreach and fundraising, but it isn’t clear whether, or how, the former president intends to rejoin them.

He's preferred to use his own platform, Truth Social, to reach out to followers.

Since Trump regained his Twitter account, he hasn’t sent out any new tweets on what was once his social media of choice.

In days and weeks following the Capitol Hill violence, Twitter, Meta, and YouTube made unprecedented moves blocking Trump’s accounts, as they decided such moves outweighed the risk of potential further incitement to violence.

Meta’s blog post also suggested it may reactivate other suspended accounts, including those sanctioned for their role in the January 6 unrest.

Meta’s decision on Trump’s accounts drew sharp rebuke from civil rights advocates.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson called it “quite astonishing” and that it “does nothing to restore any sense of trust among those fleeing” the social media giant that he claimed is losing popularity.