Former president of the United States, Donald Trump’s ban from Facebook and Instagram might be revoked as Social media giant Meta Inc (META.O) prepares to announce its verdict.
- Meta was expected to roll out a decision on January 7, 2023, but sources suggest that it will most likely be delayed.
- Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, is set to address Trump’s future in the company’s platforms
To navigate the matter, tech giant Meta is assembling a working group characterized by employees from different departments. It includes staff workers from the public policy and communications team, the content policy team, and the safety and integrity team.
Meanwhile, Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg has shifted his focus on the growth of the metaverse. He is most likely to participate as a chief executive, chair and controlling shareholder instead of overseeing the decision.
Why was Donald Trump banned from Facebook and Instagram?
Trump was suspended by Facebook on January 7, 2021, after he was declared responsible for the attack on the US Capitol building in Washington. CEO Zuckerberg cited that allowing Trump to use these services was dangerous, so he was indefinitely banned from Facebook and Instagram.
He was subsequently de-platformed on Twitter the next day for the same reasons, although Elon Musk, who owned the platform back then, lifted the ban in November last year based on the majority’s will.
Trump is known to have exploited social media to claim the presidency in 2016, and five years later, he was accused of using his followers to incite violence in Washington. Meta’s oversight board supported the company’s decision to ban him but was not okay with imposing a lifetime ban prompting Facebook to review its decision after two years.
Ever since he lost the election in 2020, Trump has repeatedly questioned the integrity of U.S. voting. In November 2022, he announced his interest in reclaiming the presidency in the 2024 election campaign.
What are the consequences of Trump’s return?
According to experts, Trump’s return might have mixed results. Suppose he remains banned from Meta’s platforms. In that case, there will be a surge in tensions between the company and the former US President’s Republican allies, who often accuse the company of secretly harboring conservative views.
Liberals and other left-wing groups believe that his return is detrimental to the goodwill of democracy, unlike his supporters who believe otherwise. They argue that his posts do not compromise the safety of the people.
Some experts also view his ban as a threat to the implications of free speech. From a business perspective, Trump’s absence could negatively affect Meta.
The company could attract more traffic if they advertise its campaign ahead of the 2024 elections. Still, a continued ban could lead to financial losses due to a possible lack of interest among advertisers.
In December 2022, the leftist advocacy group Accountable Tech conducted a study that revealed how Trump’s social presence continues to threaten safety. His account on Truth Social had 350 posts that directly violated Facebook’s policies.
More than 100 posts enabled the followers of Trump QAnon, a conspiracy group banned by Meta after being termed by the FBI as a “domestic terror threat.” There were 240 posts feeding “harmful election-related disinformation.”
Despite his proven capacity to inflict damage, banning a presidential candidate remains questionable as it could wage political wars or rob world leaders of the right to speech. So Meta will seek help from experts to grasp the situation better.
Although they refused to make further comments, they had resolved to impose harsher sanctions back in June 2022 if Trump refused to change. His pages and accounts could be permanently erased if more violations occur.