ACLU Comment on Meta’s Decision to Reinstate Trump on Facebook

January 25, 2023 5:30 pm

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NEW YORK — Facebook parent company Meta announced today that it will reinstate former President Donald Trump’s Facebook account following a two-year suspension.

Citing public safety concerns, Trump was banned from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter after the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Twitter reinstated Trump’s access in November 2022, while Meta’s bans expired earlier this month.

Below is a reaction from Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union:

“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. Indeed, some of Trump’s most offensive social media posts ended up being critical evidence in lawsuits filed against him and his administration. And we should know — we filed over 400 legal actions against him.

“While the government cannot force platforms to carry certain speech, that doesn’t mean the largest platforms should engage in political censorship. The biggest social media companies are central actors when it comes to our collective ability to speak — and hear the speech of others — online. They should err on the side of allowing a wide range of political speech, even when it offends.

“In a healthier information ecosystem, the decisions of a single company would not carry such immense political significance, and we hope that new platforms will emerge to challenge the hegemony of the social media giants. In the meantime, we will continue to press the tech giants to be fair and impartial stewards of our political discourse.”

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