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Trump’s Facebook, Instagram accounts to be reinstated ‘in coming weeks,’ Meta says

Click to play video: 'Jan. 6 attack on U.S. Capitol was ‘fuelled by lies’ on 2020 election: Biden'
Jan. 6 attack on U.S. Capitol was ‘fuelled by lies’ on 2020 election: Biden
WATCH: U.S. President Joe Biden delivered remarks on Friday during a ceremony honouring those who defended the U.S. Capitol against violent Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021. Biden said the mob was “fuelled by lies” on the results of the 2020 election and attempted to overthrow “the will of the people.” – Jan 6, 2023

Former U.S. president Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be reinstated in the coming weeks, according to a statement released by Meta, the owner of both platforms.

Meta had imposed a two-year suspension on Trump’s accounts on Jan. 7, 2021, following an attack on the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., by the former presidents’ supporters who refused to accept his defeat in the 2020 presidential election. He had praised protesters who stormed the Capitol building.

In the statement released Wednesday, Meta said “new guardrails are in place to deter repeat offenses.”

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“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,” it said.

Meta says the company has evaluated the current political climate to see if “the serious risk to public safety that existed in January 2021 has sufficiently receded.”

This includes looking at the conduct of the U.S. 2022 midterm elections and expert assessments on the current security environment.

“Our determination is that the risk has sufficiently receded, and that we should therefore adhere to the two-year timeline we set out,” it reads.

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Reacting to Meta’s announcement, Trump wrote on his own platform, Truth Social, “Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!”

The former president added, Facebook “has lost billions of dollars in value since ‘deplatforming’ your favorite President.”

He went on to praise Truth Social, which has remained his primary method of communication despite being reinstated to Twitter in November 2022.

Trump’s statement did not indicate if he would return to Facebook or Instagram once his accounts are reinstated.

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Free Press Co-CEO Jessica J. González, who co-chairs the Change the Terms coalition, said in a statement Meta must bear full responsibility for any harm caused by bringing back Trump’s social media accounts, calling the decision “extremely reckless.”

The coalition, which represents more than five-dozen civil rights, human rights, tech policy and consumer-protection organizations, advocates for technology companies to reduce hate and disinformation online.

“Meta is moving backwards, returning us to a time when Donald Trump used the company’s powerful tools to spread lies and dangerous rhetoric, and incite violence targeted at disenfranchised communities and his ideological enemies,” said González.

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