Trump campaign asks Meta to reverse Facebook and Instagram suspensions

Trump campaign asks Meta to reverse Facebook and Instagram suspensions

Former President Donald Trump is pressuring Meta to return to Facebook and Instagram to revive his third straight run for the White House.

The 76-year-old Republican’s 2024 campaign asked parent company Meta to unlock Trump’s accounts and allow him to post directly to his 34 million Facebook followers and 25 million Instagram followers after he was suspended platforms the day after January 6. , 2021, Capitol Riot.

“[W]We believe the banning of President Trump’s Facebook account has significantly distorted and inhibited public discourse,” campaign general counsel Scott Gast wrote in a Tuesday letter obtained by The Post and addressed to Meta Mark executives. Zuckerberg, Nick Clegg and Joel Kaplan.

“We also believe that a continued ban would essentially constitute … a deliberate effort by a private company to silence Mr. Trump’s political voice,” Gast continued. “Furthermore, every day that President Trump’s political voice remains silenced furthers inappropriate interference in the American political and electoral process.”

Clegg, the former British deputy prime minister and chairman of global affairs at Meta, announced in June 2021 that Trump’s Twitter and Instagram ban would last for an initial period of two years, after which “we will turn to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has diminished.

The former president’s 2024 campaign wrote a letter to Meta on Tuesday asking for his two-year suspension to be lifted as he makes a third consecutive run for the White House.
AFP via Getty Images

Trump has already been reinstated on Twitter — his favorite social network when he was president — by the platform’s new owner, Elon Musk. However, he has yet to tweet to his 88 million followers there.

Unlike his large following on the big three social media platforms, Trump has less than 5 million followers on Truth Social, which he launched last year in response to his startup from the widely used sites.

A A Trump confidant told NBC News that the former president had spoken to advisers for weeks about a meteoric comeback on Twitter, and that aides had brainstormed ideas for his initial message.

“Trump is probably coming back to Twitter. It’s just a matter of how and when,” another Republican source reportedly said.

Mark Zuckerberg in a suit, file photo
Meta-platforms chief executive Mark Zuckerberg had banned Trump over fears he would “provoke further violence” after his supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Meta President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg
Global affairs meta-president Nick Clegg had announced that Trump’s ban would last at least two years.
AFP via Getty Images

Meanwhile, if Meta decides to extend its ban on Trump beyond the first two years, NBC reported, the campaign would deploy House Republicans to lobby the tech company on its behalf.

“If Facebook wants to have this fight, fine, but the House is leverage, and keeping Trump off of Facebook just looks political,” an adviser to the former president told the network.

Four congressional Democrats wrote a letter to Meta last month urging the company to keep Trump mum.

“Trump continued to post harmful election content on Truth Social that would likely violate Facebook policies, and we have every reason to believe he would bring similar conspiratorial rhetoric back to Facebook, given the chance,” we read in the newspaper. letterwhich was led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) and co-signed by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.).

A moblie billboard parked outside Meta urges the company not to reinstate Trump
A mobile billboard, deployed by Accountable Tech, is seen outside Meta’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California on January 17 as the company considers lifting Trump’s suspension.
Getty Images for Accountable Tec

Zuckerburg, CEO of Meta, admitted that Trump had previously violated the company’s speech rules, but said he was allowed to remain on the site because “the public is entitled to the broadest access possible to political discourse, even to controversial discourse”. ”

Trump used Facebook advertising to great effect during his successful 2016 candidacy, running 5.9 million different micro-targeted ads, compared to just 66,000 run by his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. according to at Bloomberg News.

In 2020, Facebook had limited high-volume advertising, which a former campaign agent said reduced Trump’s influence on the site.

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