Facebook Pondering Whether to Unban Trump With 'Great Caution' Meta headquarters in Menlo Park, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
By Luca Cacciatore | Thursday, 22 September 2022 04:34 PM EDT
Facebook's parent company Meta is currently deliberating whether it will unban former President Donald Trump from its platforms with "great caution," an interview confirmed.
Nick Clegg, the current Meta president for global affairs, told Semafor on Thursday that he will ultimately be the one to decide, first talking to experts and weighing real-world effects before making a final decision.
"It's not a capricious decision. We will look at the signals related to real-world harm to make a decision whether at the two-year point – which is early January next year – whether Trump gets reinstated to the platform," Clegg stated.
"We'll talk to the experts, we'll talk to third parties, we will try to assess what we think the implications will be of bringing Trump back onto the platform," he added.
The top executive also said he would consult with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Meta's board of directors, emphasizing, "When you make a decision that affects the public realm, you need to act with great caution."
Clegg first hinted at Meta allowing the former president back on its service in June 2021, when he stated that the company would evaluate whether the "risk to public safety" of restoring Trump's account had ceased.
Now, Trump could find his way back on Facebook products as soon as January of next year after being previously kicked off in the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021 riot.
Trump is still banned from YouTube and Twitter, with the former indicating a greater willingness to allow him back on sooner rather than later, comments made last year indicated.
Angelo Carusone, head of the liberal group Media Matters, condemned Clegg's willingness to unban the former president in a recent statement, writing that "Facebook has every intention of restoring Donald Trump's account."
"Clegg could have easily noted that Trump's active promotion of QAnon and continued attempts to overturn the 2020 election would not only be a violation of Facebook's policies but is certainly an indicator of real-world harms that make it unlikely the platform will restore his account," Carusone said.
"Instead, he indicated that, as when Trump was active on the platform, Facebook remains unwilling to apply or enforce its own rules against Trump."