Meta considering decision on Trump ban with ‘great caution’

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Meta is considering its decision whether or not to reinstate former President Trump’s Facebook account with “great caution,” top executive Nick Clegg said Thursday. 

Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, did not indicate which way the company is leaning on the decision but offered some insight into how Meta is weighing the decision in an interview with Semafor editor-at-large Steve Clemons. 

“If you have this significant ability to take decisions which affect the public realm, as a public sector company you need to act with great caution, and resistance. You shouldn’t throw your weight about,” Clegg said. 

Facebook could reinstate Trump as early as January, marking two years after his initial ban over posts made about the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. The company first outlined that timeline last June, when Clegg said the company would evaluate whether the “risk to public safety” of restoring Trump’s account had been abated.

“We’ve been very open. That temporary suspension is a two-year period through till early January,” Clegg said Thursday. “We’ll look at all the signals that we should do about what we think may or may not affect the risks of real-world harm.”

If allowed back on Facebook, Trump would regain access to the platform to reach a wider audience ahead of a potential 2024 presidential run. 

Twitter, the platform the former president was most active on, took a different approach from Facebook. The platform said its ban on Trump was permanent and would not be lifted if Trump ran for office again. 

But the fate of Trump’s Twitter account may be in new hands if an embattled deal for Elon Musk to take over the company goes through. Musk said earlier this year he would reverse Twitter’s permanent ban. However, the Tesla CEO is trying to back out of his $44 billion agreement to buy the company and is in the middle of a legal battle with Twitter over whether or not he has to follow through. 

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