Facebook allows Trump back...but does he want to return?
Perhaps desperate for some positive Facebook/Meta publicity, Nick Clegg, president, global affairs for Meta, dropped a lengthy announcement on Wednesday on the site:
- We will be ending the suspension of Mr. Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks.
- We've put new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.
- The public should be able to hear what politicians are saying so they can make informed choices.
Much more huffing and puffing at the link about this.
Trump, who has been Facebookless and Instagramless since that overblown media incident at the nation's Capitol on January 6, 2021, but nevertheless still making news, responded to the news on his much, much smaller social media platform, Truth Social.
FACEBOOK, which has lost Billions of Dollars in value since "deplatforming" your favorite President, me, has just announced that they are reinstating my account. 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!!!
When Facebook originally decided to ban Trump from its platforms, the ACLU, to its credit, Voltaireishly disagreed, stating then:
We understand the desire to permanently suspend him now, but it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier," said Kate Ruane, ACLU senior legislative counsel, in a statement. "President Trump can turn to his press team or Fox News to communicate with the public, but others — like the many Black, Brown, and LGBTQ activists who have been censored by social media companies — will not have that luxury.
Reacting similarly to the probable forthcoming return of Trump to META's platforms, the ACLU tweeted:
This is the right call. Like it or not, President Trump is one of the country's leading political figures and the public has a strong interest in hearing his speech.
While Trump perhaps can gain much from a reappearance on the much larger — and more prominent — Facebook compared to his much smaller Truth Social platform, such as access to more funders and potential voters for his 2024 presidential run, Facebook will also benefit. Although it has been estimated that over 70% of the U.S. population engages with Facebook it has been losing subscribers for several years, and that loss, especially among younger people, who are using newer, alternative platforms, is accelerating. Their older siblings, who have been using Facebook for quite a while but are now concerned about Facebook's notorious lack of privacy, among other concerns, are also considering jumping off to new sites.
The real victors, though, are the American people, backed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, signed on September 17, 1787.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.