February 5, 2023
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Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta may be on the verge of allowing former President Donald Trump back on both platforms, where he would once again have access to tens of millions of people as he ramps up his bid to capture the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Trump was kicked off both platforms shortly after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol Building after he was accused of inciting the violence in which one of his supporters, Ashli Babbitt, a young female Air Force veteran, was killed by a plainclothes Capitol Police officer as she attempted to climb through a broken window into a House anteroom.

According to Fox News, citing the Financial Times, the company initially planned to announce whether Trump would be reinstated by Jan. 7, but that date has been pushed back. Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, has reportedly put together a team of people to look at potentially reinstating Trump. In October, Clegg indicated that the company was strongly leaning towards an end to the ban.

“We believe that any private company–and this is really regardless of one’s personal views about Donald Trump–should tread with great thoughtfulness when seeking to, basically, silence political voices,” he said then.

Fox News noted further:

Facebook’s board first chose to uphold a two-year ban on Trump’s account in June 2021, setting the potential expiration date at January 7, 2023.

Trump in November regained access to his Twitter account after billionaire Elon Musk purchased the platform. Trump has yet to use his account, however, stating that he intends to stay exclusively on his Truth Social platform, where his following is a fraction of the one he has on Twitter.

Trump’s last Facebook post was on Jan. 6, when he asked protesters to remain peaceful.

“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!” it read.

Trump said during an interview in April that he likely would not return to Twitter if given the chance, and so far he has held true to that statement. In an interview with Sirius XM’s Americano Media, he said he “probably wouldn’t have any interest” in returning, where he had almost 90 million followers.

That’s likely because the former president has bigger plans for Truth Social and its parent company, Trump Media and Technology Group.

In May, the UK’s Daily Mail reported that TMTG was seeking new staffers for a video streaming platform that the company will pit against current behemoths, including Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+.

In recruitment advertisements, “the company announced it was seeking a content buyer and a development manager to create programming for its TMTG+ service,” the report said. “The service is part of Trump’s attempt to build an alternative media ecosystem after being kicked off Facebook and YouTube in the wake of the January 6 violence last year.”

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