45th President Donald Trump is preparing to make a return to Facebook and Twitter, according to a new report that broke this morning.
Following the protests on Capitol Hill on January 6 2021, Trump, who was then still the sitting President, was unceremoniously booted from most of the major Big Tech platforms simultaneously, including Twitter, Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, and Google’s YouTube.
However, Trump saw his Twitter account restored last November after African-American billionaire Elon Musk purchased the platform and polled his followers on whether the former President should be allowed back.
The people have spoken.
Trump will be reinstated.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei. https://t.co/jmkhFuyfkv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2022
Now, according to a report from NBC News, the official Trump campaign is petitioning Meta to let him back onto Facebook. “We believe that the ban on President Trump’s account on Facebook has dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse,” the letter said, calling for a “meeting to discuss [his] prompt reinstatement to the platform.”
Both his Facebook and Instagram accounts were initially indefinitely suspended, but a decision from Meta’s Oversight Board reduced the bans down to two years. Nick Clegg, the President of Global Affairs at Meta, suggested in September that Trump may be allowed back, but the risk of “harm” from his return would need to be assessed by “experts” before any decision was made.
An anonymous advisor to Trump told NBC News that the campaign believes that Meta will reinstate Trump to Facebook, but if not, House Republicans who now control Congressional committees, may use their power to put pressure on the company.
“If Facebook wants to have this fight, fine, but the House is leverage, and keeping Trump off Facebook just looks political,” the advisor said. If Trump is restored to Facebook, it seems likely that his Instagram account would also be restored. A spokesman for Meta said that they will “announce a decision in the coming weeks in line with the process we laid out.”
Despite Trump having already had his Twitter account reinstated, he has yet to post. Previously, the former President said that while he admired Musk, he would not be returning to the platform, saying that his Truth Social platform would “move beyond” Twitter, which he claimed was doing “phenomenally well” and had better engagement.
Yet according to one Republican who spoke to NBC, “it’s just a question of how and when” Trump comes back to Twitter. “He’s been talking about it for weeks, but Trump speaks for Trump, so it’s anyone’s guess what he’ll do or say or when.” Another Trump confidant told the news site that the campaign has already workshopped plans for his first tweet back.
Previous reporting has also suggested that Trump was bound to post exclusively on Truth Social for at least six hours before making the same post elsewhere. Truth Social refused to comment when questioned by NBC, but a spokesman for Trump said that the campaign believes he will be able to return to Twitter “as before.”
After the news broke, Musk tweeted that it would be “interesting” to see how the Biden administration reacted to a return to mainstream social media for Trump. “They may try to weaponize Federal agencies against Twitter,” he speculated.
Will be interesting to see how the Biden administration reacts to this.
They may try to weaponize Federal agencies against Twitter.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 18, 2023