Facebook still bans Trump – for now – despite campaign

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By DAVID KLEPPER, Associated Press

Donald Trump may be running for president, but he still can’t use Facebook.

The social media platform has no plans to reinstate Trump’s account following the former president’s announcement on Tuesday that he will seek a second term in the White House, the company confirmed on Wednesday. Trump was kicked out of Facebook following the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

However, Trump may not have to wait long to return to the site. His suspension from Facebook is set to be reviewed in January, two years after he was first imposed. —

One change will be immediate: As a candidate, Trump will no longer be subject to fact checks on Facebook. Indeed, under Facebook rules, comments from elected officials and election candidates are not subject to fact checks on its site. The AP participates in Facebook’s independent fact-checking program.

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Throughout his tenure as President, Trump’s use of social media has posed a significant challenge to major social media platforms trying to balance the public’s need to hear from their elected leaders with concerns about misinformation, harassment and incitement to violence.

After the Jan. 6 riot, Trump was also kicked out of Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook parent company Meta. Trump’s ability to post videos to his YouTube channel has been suspended.

YouTube spokeswoman Ivy Choi said Wednesday that the company has no plans to lift the suspension.

Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk said he disagreed with the platform’s decision to ban Trump after the Jan. 6 attack. Musk said no announcement regarding the reinstatement of banned users will be made until a content moderation board reviews the matter.

Twitter did not respond to questions about the impact of Trump’s candidacy on the decision. Since his suspension, Trump has launched his own social media platform, TruthSocial, and said he has no plans to join Twitter if allowed.

Facebook originally placed a 24-hour suspension on Trump’s account on Jan. 6 after he praised rioters who stormed the Capitol. Facebook creator and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced an indefinite suspension on Jan. 7, adding that “the risks of allowing the president to continue using our service during this time are just too great.”

The company’s quasi-independent oversight board upheld the ban but ordered Facebook to set a deadline. The ban is now set to expire on January 7, 2023.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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