Donald Trump to be allowed back on to Facebook and Instagram

Facebook and Instagram Lift Donald Trump’s Suspension

Facebook announced on Wednesday, in a blog post from its oversight board, that former President of the United States, Donald Trump, will once again be allowed back on the platform. The post also announced that he will also be reinstated on Instagram.

Donald Trump had been suspended from both platforms in January 2021, with his ban coming two days after the Capitol riots, which was instigated by his supporters. At the time, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said the risk of “further incitement of violence” from Mr Trump was too great for the platforms to allow him to stay.

Facebook Oversight Board

The ruling was made by the newly launched Facebook Oversight Board, which was set up last year as an “independent body that reviews particular difficult content decisions” made by the company. The board had been asked to rule on whether Trump’s ban should stay or be lifted.

In it’s decision, the board argued that whilst Trump had broken Facebook’s terms of service, it was “not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension.” Instead, the board has asked for a “proportionate response” to be made and for Facebook to include a defined and public set of penalties for misuse of the platform.

Terms and Conditions

Following the decision, Facebook has given a timeline of seven days for it to decide on the “sanction or penalty” which will be applied to Donald Trump when he returns to the platform. It added that it must be clear, necessary and proportionate and will be defined through discussions with the board.

Donald Trump will be bound by the same terms and conditions that other users of the platform must abide by. If he violates them again, he could face more serious and permanent restrictions.


The decision has received mixed reactions, with some critics arguing that the ban should have been left in place, whilst others have applauded Facebook for taking a more measured approach.

The following are some key reactions and opinions on the matter:

  • Donald Trump: “I am grateful for the opportunity to present my views to the Facebook Oversight Board and look forward to the board’s decision.”
  • Mark Zuckerberg: “The Board has not asked us to change our policies or approach to political speech, but we will now consider the board’s decision and determine an action that is clear and proportionate.”
  • Claire Gastañaga, international executive director at PEN America: “Facebook has once again put its corporate interests first, offering a deeply flawed and inadequate approach to the threat that Donald Trump continues to pose.”

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