Jan 26, 2023

Meta to Reinstate Trump’s Facebook and Instagram Accounts Transcript

Meta to Reinstate Trump's Facebook and Instagram Accounts Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsDonald TrumpMeta to Reinstate Trump’s Facebook and Instagram Accounts Transcript

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, says it will reinstate the accounts of former President Donald Trump in the coming weeks. Read the transcript here.

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John (00:00):

Former President Donald Trump is getting more of his online real estate back. Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, says it will reinstate Trump’s accounts in the coming weeks. Meta’s President of Global Affairs defended the move in a press release saying the public should be able to hear what politicians are saying so they can make informed choices and Trump is still a politician. He’s the only person so far to formally declare himself a candidate for the Republican nomination in 2024.

Trump used Facebook extensively in 2016 and 2020 to raise money and advertise for his campaign. Meta says Trump’s reinstatement comes with new guardrails to deter repeated offenses. CBS News Congressional Correspondent Scott MacFarlane joins me now.

Scott, remind us why former President Trump was kicked off in the first place.

Scott MacFarlane (00:53):

Yeah. Two years ago this month, right after January 6th, Facebook called it an extraordinary decision because of extraordinary circumstances. They had criticized his celebration or cheering of some of the January 6th Capitol rioters. They pulled him down. After some back and forth, some meetings and discussion, they decided there’d be a two-year suspension and then a review. The two years has expired and they’ve done their review.

But they were always clear, John, as to why they thought he was dangerous because he was… After January 6th, America was in a sensitive moment, to put it mildly, and they were concerned Donald Trump was fanning flames. But the Facebook and Meta executive says now is that times have changed and time has passed, and in their words, “The risk has receded.” Donald Trump is getting a foothold back on Facebook.

John (01:48):

Scott, as somebody who has covered all of the trials related to the riots of January 6th, remind us again about the connection between posts that then President Trump made, the relationship between those posts and those who went to the Capitol on January 6th to try to disrupt the proceedings. Did they listen to what he posted on social media?

Scott MacFarlane (02:10):

Not only did they say they listened, not only did they admit that it was part of their reason, if not their singular reason for being at the Capitol January 6th, but that Donald Trump’s social media posts, in fact, are being used as a criminal defense now by some of the accused rioters, saying that they were there at the Capitol under what they characterized as a public authority defense. That Donald Trump authorized them to be at the Capitol and do what they did January 6th, and they cite the social media posts.

What’s more, I should add, John, and I think it’s not trivial, some of these defendants are banned from social media as part of their pretrial release in their January 6th cases. They’re not back on Facebook. Donald Trump is.

John (02:52):

And briefly, Scott, what are the new guardrails that are going to operate on the former president if he should choose to pick up his accounts again?

Scott MacFarlane (03:00):

What Meta says is if there’s any more posts that are denying elections, raising questions about the integrity of elections, or spreading disinformation like QAnon or otherwise, that they’ll restrict the reposting of it, the sharing of it, the buying of ads to disseminate it, that could have an impact.

But John, if he posts something inflammatory and that Facebook limits it, it’s still going to spread organically by users who screengrab it, paraphrase it, quote it and share it amongst themselves. So we’ll see how effective those restrictions are.

John (03:33):

Indeed, we will. Scott MacFarlane, thank you.

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