‘I’m back,’ former US president says after being suspended for two years
Former US President Donald Trump returned to Facebook on Friday, writing “I’M BACK!” on his restored page. He was banned from the social network in 2021 following the January 6 Capitol riots in Washington.
Along with the short announcement of his comeback, he also posted an old video of himself dating back to his victory in the 2016 presidential election, saying “Sorry to keep you waiting, complicated matter.”
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, announced in January that it would reinstate the former president because “The public should be allowed to hear politicians.” However, the official message clarified that Trump now faces “aggravated penalties in the event of a repeat offence” as a means of “deter” such behavior.
The former president was removed from Facebook and Instagram, both owned by Meta, in 2021. Writing about the ban in 2022, the company’s president for global affairs, Nick Clegg, said he was under “extreme and very unusual circumstances” and the official reason was that Trump was praising “people engaged in violence on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.”
He was also permanently suspended from Twitter for “incitement to violence”. This was in reference to Trump’s tweets about the Capitol riots where he called out protesters “Great American Patriots.” The former president was particularly fond of this social network, even before taking office. In 2017, he even said he wouldn’t have won the election without Twitter.
In response, Trump filed a lawsuit against Twitter, Google and Facebook for “censorship.” Hed argues that if corporations could ban him, the President of the United States at the time, then “They can do it to anyone.” However, the lawsuit against Twitter was dismissed in May 2022.
The politician then created his own social network called Truth Social in October 2021, marketing it as a competitor to the “Tyranny of Big Tech.” Trump wrote in the official press release: “We live in a world where the Taliban are very active on Twitter, but your favorite American president has been silenced.
Tesla owner Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October and said he would put the reinstatement of Trump’s account to a popular vote. The result of the poll, which generated 15 million responses, showed 52% voting to bring back the banned ex-president. Trump’s account was visible again in November, but he hasn’t tweeted anything yet. He wrote that although heloved Elon,” he would stay on Truth Social, calling it “special.”
Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign in November, after the Republican Party won a narrow majority in the House of Representatives in midterm elections. The newly relaunched Facebook account will be “an important tool for the 2024 campaign to reach voters through advertising, popular mobilization and fundraising”, his campaign spokesman, Steven Cheung, told Fox News.
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