Donald Trump to Return to Facebook? Decision on Overturning Ban Awaited as Democrats Pressure Meta

Facebook is mulling the withdrawal of Donald Trump's suspension from the platform, according to reports. Facebook parent Meta is likely to soon announce whether it will revoke the former president's suspension, Reuters reported.

Trump was suspended from the platform in January 2021, following the Capitol riots. The original suspension was indefinite, but in June that year, Facebook's Oversight Board ruled that indefinite suspension wasn't right. it said Trump will remain suspended for two years.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump Twitter

Facebook Policy

"Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr Trump's suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available ... If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded," the Oversight Board had said at that time.

According to the new report, which cited the Financial Times, Meta is likely to take a decision later in January. People familiar with the matter said Meta has organized a working group comprising executives from the public policy and communications teams to study the matter.

Twitter Ban Revoked

Social media giant Twitter had earlier revoked the suspension of Trump from the platform following the takeover by tech billionaire Elon Musk. The decision to reinstate Trump's account came just three weeks after Musk paid $44 billion to purchase the social network platform. However, Trump is unlikely to return to Twitter. "I don't see any reason for it," he had said.

It is not clear if Trump would ever want to return to the Facebook platform as he has set up his Truth Social platform. It is also relevant that Trump did not return to Twitter after the revocation of his ban.

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Also, Facebook had said earlier that if Trump returns to the platform he will be subjected to a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions to make sure that he does not flout the rules of the platform.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have piled pressure on Meta to make sure it does not allow Trump to return. Two weeks ago, two top Democratic lawmakers asked Meta to keep Trump's accounted suspended. The letter was sent by California Rep. Adam Schiff and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.

"For Meta to credibly maintain a legitimate election integrity policy, it is essential that your company maintain its platform ban on former president Trump ... Based on Meta's own statement on standards for allowing Trump back on the platform, his account should continue to be restricted," the letter had said.

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