Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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Meta is preparing to make a crucial decision about Trump’s return to Facebook

Meta is preparing to make a decision about allowing former US President Donald Trump to return to the Facebook and Instagram platforms, which is believed to lead to an increase in polarization in the arena.

Trump’s accounts on social networks were suspended under the pretext of incitement to violence after a group of his supporters stormed the US Capitol building in January 2021, after he questioned the integrity of the 2020 US presidential elections that led to the victory of his rival, Joe Biden.

Trump had benefited from his popularity on social media to reach the White House in 2016 and then used it to rally his supporters on every occasion.

Meta, which is worth $300 billion, previously said it would decide whether to allow the former president back on Facebook and Instagram by January 7, 2023.

It is believed that deliberations on announcing this decision may be delayed until later this month.

It is believed that the fate of Trump, who is now seeking a return to the White House in the US presidential elections scheduled for 2024, will be the most difficult test for the Meta head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, who previously served as Deputy British Prime Minister.

Meta head Mark Zuckerberg, who previously made the final decisions on matters of moderation, is now focused on products and his ambitious vision for Metaverse, though he can still step in as CEO, managing director and controlling shareholder.

Meta has set up a working group to focus on the matter. The group includes staff from the Public Policy and Communications teams, as well as from the Content Policy team led by Monica Bickert, and the Safety and Integrity teams led by Jay Rosen.

Last October, Clegg said at a conference held by the Council on Foreign Relations for Meta, that he believed that any private company, regardless of what one might think of Donald Trump, should be careful in its steps when seeking to silence political voices.

Experts say continuing to bar Trump from the platform will stoke tensions with Republican allies of the former US president who accuse the company of censoring conservative views, and other left-leaning groups say allowing him back is irresponsible and harmful to democracy.

This comes after Elon Musk, the new owner of the Twitter platform, last November canceled a permanent ban on Trump on his platform after polling users, however, the former US president has not posted anything there since the cancellation.

As for Trump, he is currently content with publishing his messages on the social network Truth Social, which he created and controls with the aim of finding a platform for himself after he was denied access to his supporters through other networks.

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