Donald Trump will regain control of his Facebook and Instagram accounts with tens of millions of followers after his suspension following the January 6, 2021, attack, Facebook parent company Meta announced Wednesday. Trump had been banned from these social media accounts after he helped to incite the violent attack on the US Capitol. Meta said a series of “guardrails” would be in place for the former president.
Trump announced his candidacy for president in November and his campaign petitioned Facebook to allow him to return to the platforms. The former president is also reportedly planning his return to Twitter after Elon Musk lifted the company’s ban on him in November.
The restoration of his social media accounts will give Trump a loud and widespread voice that has been quieted by the bans over the last two years. Facebook says that it will penalize Trump, including another suspension from its platforms, if he violates its rules.
Time will tell. Before his suspension, Facebook had a history of looking the other way when the ex-president violated its rules. Whatever the case, Trump could be tanking his own social media company, Truth Social, if he starts posting on other platforms. And it could, as my colleague Mark Follman has reported, further political violence.