By Weston Blasi
Will former President Donald Trump soon be allowed back on Facebook?
Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta Platforms Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite META +7.89% , Facebook’s parent company, said in a recent interview that Trump’s ban on the platform could be lifted as early as January 2023.
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Clegg says the choice to reverse Trump’s ban will be made after he discusses it with a group of experts, and calculates the risk of any possible harm that could come from such a decision when Trump’s suspension expires.
“If we think there is content on our platform which will lead to real-world harm — physical harm — then we feel we have a clear responsibility to act against it,” Clegg told news organization Semafor in September.
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The duration of Trump’s ban from Facebook and the Facebook-owned Instagram was set for two years, beginning on Jan, 7, 2021, Meta announced , and will only be reinstated if certain conditions are met.
“When you make a decision that affects the public realm, you need to act with great caution,” Clegg said. “You shouldn’t throw your weight about.”
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Clegg added that whatever choice the company makes about Trump’s account is “ a decision I oversee and I drive .”
Trump was banned from several social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and Snapchat /zigman2/quotes/205087158/composite SNAP +4.99% in the months after his loss in the 2020 presidential election surrounding posts about voting misinformation and the Capitol insurrection.
When describing Trump’s social media posts in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot, Meta CEO Zuckerberg said in 2021 that Trump’s posts served to “condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building.”
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Since Trump’s ban, he has continued to spread false claims about the results of the 2020 election .
Trump has also frequently used another social platform called Truth Social , a platform he helped launch in 2022. Trump said he won’t return to Twitter even if he is allowed back, but has not specified his intention about rejoining Facebook if a possible reversal of his Facebook ban were to occur.
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On several occasions Trump has hinted that he will make a White House bid in 2024. Trump’s polling lead in a hypothetical 2024 GOP primary has waxed and waned in recent months. During a CPAC Texas event in August, Trump won an unofficial straw poll for preferred 2024 GOP nominee among attendees, but Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has bested Trump in several straw polls conducted at conservative events this year in states including Colorado and Wisconsin .