Meta received a letter on Tuesday from former US president Trump’s campaign requesting them to unblock his Facebook account. Both Twitter and Facebook blocked Trump’s accounts following the attack on the US Capitol on 6th January 2021.
What is Facebook saying?
Facebook said the ban would be indefinite but later changed its stance after public consultation and discussion with experts. They said in June 2021 that the ban would be reassessed after two years in January 2023. Currently, the decision is being debated by a specially formed internal group within Meta.
Andy Stone of Meta said the decision would be out within the next few weeks. Advisor to Trump said that having the access to Facebook would make the campaign easier to reach people. The letter sent to Meta was signed by an attorney of Trump. It reasoned the right to free speech and requested to meet with Meta to talk about reinstatement.
The letter read, “Donald J. Trump is a declared candidate for President of the United States.” It also mentioned, “We believe that the ban on President Trump’s account on Facebook has dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse.”
One of Trump’s advisors said that he did not use Facebook as he used Twitter to communicate with his political base after he became president. But he is ready to do so now using Facebook advertisements. The advisor said, “It is the most important vehicle for fundraising and for reaching a lot of people in the persuadable audience.”
On the other hand, democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill wrote to Meta last month urging them to keep Donald Trump off Facebook. It said Trump is continuously attacking the democracy of the USA by telling lies about the election of 2020.
However, free speech advocates, Republicans, etc. are saying that the ban is an unnecessary act of censorship. The ban is likely putting Trump at a disadvantage as a candidate for 2024.
Facebook Vs. Twitter on reinstatement
The way Meta is handling the situation is opposite to what Twitter is doing. While Meta is publishing policy documents and detailed posts outlining how it is going to make the high-stakes decision, Elon Musk already reinstated Trump on Twitter last November. He just held a poll and made the decision based on the same. However, Trump is yet to tweet.
After the Twitter reinstatement, Trump said, “Truth Social is through the roof. It’s doing phenomenally well. Truth Social has been very, very powerful, very, very strong. And I’ll be staying there. But I hear we’re getting a big vote to also go back on Twitter. I don’t see it because I don’t see any reason for it.” Truth Social is created and run by Trump Media & Technology Group.
Re-entry to Twitter and trolling
At the moment aides to Trump are discussing a powerful and impactful tweet to make his re-entry into the platform and ways to ‘maximize’ his first tweet. Now, people on the internet are trolling him for deciding to go back to Facebook and Twitter questioning the strength of Truth Social.