Jan. 25 (UPI) — Facebook and Instagram will reinstate former President Donald Trump‘s social media accounts more than two years after he was suspended for posts about the 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, announced Wednesday that Trump’s accounts will return “in the coming weeks.”
“We will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks,” Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta said in a statement Wednesday. “However, we are doing so with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”
Meta said it decided to reverse Trump’s indefinite suspension because the social media company believes “open debate and the free flow of ideas are important values, especially at a time when they are under threat in many places around the world.”
“The normal state of affairs is that the public should be able to hear from a former President of the United States, and a declared candidate for that office again, on our platforms,” Clegg added.
Trump was banned indefinitely from Facebook one day after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. In June of 2021, Facebook announced Trump’s suspension would continue for at least two years.
“The suspension was an extraordinary decision taken in extraordinary circumstances,” Clegg said Wednesday. “We indefinitely suspended then-U.S. President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.”
Trump’s reinstatement comes one week after his campaign requested his Facebook account be restored ahead of his bid for the presidency in 2024.
But the reinstatement comes with some restrictions, including adherence to Meta’s Community Standards and heightened penalties for repeat offenses.
“In the event that Mr. Trump posts further violating content, the content will be removed and he will be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation,” Clegg said.
“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. But that does not mean there are no limits to what people can say on our platform,” Clegg warned. “When there is a clear risk of real world harm — a deliberately high bar for Meta to intervene in public discourse — we act.”
Facebook and Instagram are not the only accounts Trump has had restored since the riots. Trump’s suspended Twitter account was reinstated in November after a poll of Twitter users voted 51.8% to reactivate it.
Despite the account being reinstated nearly three months ago, Trump has not posted.