According to Nick Clegg, the company’s president of global affairs, Meta will reactivate the former president Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts “in coming weeks” after a two-year suspension.
Why it matters: The choice could alter the course of the 2024 U.S. presidential election and establishes a new standard for how the company handles world leaders.
“We’ve always believed that Americans should be able to hear from the people who want to lead the country,” Clegg said to Axios. We don’t want to obstruct that, she said.
Rewind: Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media sites blocked Trump shortly after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol because he had broken their rules and because they were worried about him inciting more violence.
The big picture: The reinstatement of Trump’s accounts will allow him to run ads via his Facebook and Instagram pages, which have 34 million and 23 million followers, respectively.
Trump relied heavily on Facebook ads in previous election cycles for fundraising and list-building.
Under Elon Musk, Twitter has also reinstated Trump’s account, but he has not posted yet, continuing to rely on his account at Truth Social instead.
Yes, but: Trump will be subject to new policies that Meta has created following feedback from its independent Oversight Board that could restrict his accounts — including his ability to run ads — should he violate the company’s policies in the future.
“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,” Clegg said.
His accounts will not be reinstated immediately, Clegg said, because Meta’s engineers will need time to build out some of the new functionality necessary to restrict certain posts or ad capabilities in the future, if needed.