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Meta, the parent company of social media platforms Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, has not yet decided whether to reinstate the accounts of former US president Donald Trump but will announce its decision soon.
Trump’s accounts were suspended after the social media giant accused the former president of using them to incite his followers to violently storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
“We’re going to make an announcement pretty soon because we suspended his Facebook account for two years from the start. And the clocks will start from January 2021. So we’re due to make an announcement, hopefully relatively soon about what to do,” Nick Clegg, former UK deputy prime minister and now chief of global affairs at Meta, told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Clegg said that Trump’s suspension was “unprecedented” and that “to suspend the former president of the world’s most powerful democracy for two years was something we’ve never done before.”
“We said at the time that we would look at whether the challenge for public safety has changed or not over that time. We’re a private sector company that thinks that political debate should happen out in the open,” Clegg continued.
He added that Trump’s suspension paved the way for Meta to establish a new set of measures “particularly applied to public figures on our platform at times of heightened instability and conflict.”
Mark Zuckerberg’s tech giant approved a raft of protocols in June 2021, under which accounts can be suspended for up to two years depending on the perceived risk to public safety.
Clegg’s comments came after the new owner of Twitter, billionaire Elon Musk, announced in November that he was restoring Trump’s account after conducting an online survey on the platform.
Twitter also suspended the former president’s account indefinitely after linking his comments to the Capitol assault.
After his social media accounts were suspended, Trump unveiled his own, alternative platform called Truth Social.