Schiff, White House slam Meta over decision to let Trump back on Facebook, Instagram: ‘Inexplicable’

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on Monday demanded answers from Meta about the social media giant’s decision to reinstate former President Donald Trump on Facebook and Instagram, blasting the move as “inexplicable.”

Last week, Meta announced that it would end the suspension of Trump on its platforms, which began after the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

In a blog post, Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, said Trump’s suspension would be lifted “in the coming weeks.”

But Schiff, D-Calif., and Whitehouse, D-R.I., criticized Metta for her decision, saying the former president should not be reinstated.

META ANNOUNCES TRUMP TO BE REINSTATED ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM PLATFORMS

Schiff criticized Metta’s decision to bring Trump back to Facebook and Instagram.
(Getty Images | Reuters)

“Based on Meta’s previous statements regarding the standards for allowing Trump back on the platform, his account should not have been reinstated,” Schiff and Whitehouse wrote in a letter to Clegg on Monday, arguing that Trump had “continued to post damaging campaign content on Truth Social that would likely violate Facebook’s policies, and we have every reason to believe that he will bring similar conspiracy rhetoric back to Facebook as well.”

They added: “How Facebook can reinstate his account given all the additional content on Truth Social, which would likely result in a brand new suspension if it were on your platform, is inexplicable.”

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Schiff and Whitehouse also asked Meta to provide a briefing on the company’s efforts to “protect the integrity of elections and prevent their platform from being used to spread conspiracy theories and election lies.”

Schiff and Whitehouse also asked Meta to provide a briefing on the company's efforts to

Schiff and Whitehouse also asked Meta to provide a briefing on the company’s efforts to “protect the integrity of elections and prevent their platform from being used to spread conspiracy theories and election lies.”
(Mykola Tys/SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images)

“[W]I believe that part of Metta’s commitment to election integrity is to ensure that those who perpetuate the baseless, dangerous narrative of the 2020 election will not be allowed or encouraged to spread the lie in any form,” they wrote them.

“It is unclear in this decision where Meta will draw the line ‘between content that is harmful and should be removed and content that, however unpleasant or inaccurate, is part of the rough and tumble of life in a free society,’ and we I would appreciate much more clarity on this.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse *Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse *Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The social media company first blocked Trump after the January 6 riot at the US Capitol. That decision was upheld by the platform’s Supervisory Board in May 2021, although the board asked Facebook to review Trump’s then “indefinite” suspension and “decide on the appropriate punishment.”

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In June 2021, Meta Platforms decided it would suspend his Facebook and Instagram accounts for two years ending in January 2023, after which the company would reevaluate the former president’s status.

“In light of his [Trump’s] violations, he now faces tougher penalties for repeat violations — penalties that will apply to other public figures whose accounts have been reinstated from suspensions related to civil unrest under our updated protocol,” Clegg said in the blog post last a week.

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Clegg acknowledged that “reasonable people” will have differing opinions about Meta’s decision to allow Trump back on its platforms.

“But a decision had to be made, so we tried to do it as best we could in a way that was consistent with our values ​​and the process we established in response to the Board’s guidance.”

Trump, reacting to Metta’s decision last week, posted on his Truth Social the words: “FACEBOOK, which has lost billions of dollars in value since it ‘deplatformed’ your beloved president, me, has just announced that it is restoring my account.”

“This should never happen again to a sitting president or anyone else who doesn’t deserve retribution!” Trump said.

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