Former President Donald Trump returned to Facebook, sharing a message in all-caps style on the social media platform after being banned for two years.
“I’M BACK!” Trump posted to more than 34 million followers, with a video that showed him celebrating his presidential victory in 2016 over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, complicated business,” Trump said from a New York City watch party after defeating Clinton in 2016.
On Jan. 7, 2021, Facebook announced a two-year suspension of Trump’s account, a day after the protests at the U.S. Capitol over the 2020 election.
Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook, revealed on Jan. 25, 2023, that it would reinstate Trump’s account, saying that the public should be allowed to hear from politicians, but subjected Trump to “heightened penalties” if he violates its rules.
Meta’s president for global affairs, Nick Clegg, stated that the company added “new guardrails,” preparing for Trump’s return and was ready “to deter repeated offenses” from the former president.
“Social media is rooted in the belief that open debate and the free flow of ideas are important values,” he stated. “As a general rule, we don’t want to get in the way of open, public and democratic debate on Meta’s platforms — especially in the context of elections in democratic societies like the United States.”
“The public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying — the good, the bad and the ugly — so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box,” Clegg added.
Upon reinstatement, Trump attacked Facebook, saying it should never have banned him.
“Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution! THANK YOU TO TRUTH SOCIAL FOR DOING SUCH AN INCREDIBLE JOB. YOUR GROWTH IS OUTSTANDING, AND FUTURE UNLIMITED!!!” Trump posted on Truth Social.
Facebook is the world’s largest social media site. It’s a crucial source of fundraising revenue for Trump’s campaign, according to the Los Angeles Times.
At the same time as Facebook, YouTube announced it would reinstate Trump’s account after “careful evaluation.”
BREAKING: YouTube has restored Donald Trump's channel.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) March 17, 2023
“We carefully evaluated the continued risk of real-world violence, balancing that with the importance of preserving the opportunity for voters to hear equally from major national candidates in the run-up to an election,” YouTube’s Vice President of Public Policy Leslie Miller stated.
In November 2022, Twitter CEO Elon Musk reinstated Trump’s account after most of the platform’s users voted, in a poll, to reinstate his account.
Trump is seeking a second term in his third run for the White House. So far, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy are the only candidates that have challenged Trump for the GOP nomination.