Lawyers for Donald Trump petition Meta Platforms to restore his Facebook account, after his ban for 2021 Capitol attack
Former President Donald Trump is seeking to return to a major social platform, after he was banned following the attempted Capitol insurrection on 6 January 2021 by his supporters.
Donald Trump had been immediately banned and condemned for his role in inciting a mob of his supporters to storm the US Capitol building on Wednesday 6 January, which resulted in the deaths of at least five people (including one police officer who was beaten to death).
In the immediate aftermath, Facebook (and others) banned Trump for 24 hours, but as the full scale of the attempted insurrection became clear, Facebook suspended his accounts indefinitely.
YouTube and Twitter also initially banned Trump for a limited period of time, but Twitter opted to permanently ban Trump from its platform.
YouTube also suspended Trump’s account indefinitely.
In May 2021 the Oversight Board ruled that Mark Zuckerberg’s firm could keep suspending Donald Trump on Facebook and Instagram.
However it later pledged to revisit the account ban from 7 January 2023, two years after the suspension first began.
Trump had over 88 million followers on his Twitter account, and had almost 60 million followers across Facebook and Instagram, before he was banned.
Elon Musk meanwhile has already restored Donald Trump’s Twitter account, but the former president has so far refused to return to the platform, preferring to stick with his Truth Social app, which has roughly 4.8 million followers.
Now it has been reported that Trump’s lawyers have petitioned Meta Platforms to restore his account access, as the former President reportedly looks to kickstart his flagging 2024 presidential campaign.
“We believe that the ban on President Trump’s account on Facebook has dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse,” Trump’s campaign wrote in its letter to Meta on Tuesday, according to a copy reviewed by NBC News.
A Meta spokesperson declined to comment about Trump beyond saying the company “will announce a decision in the coming weeks in line with the process we laid out.”
Meta’s Oversight Board has reportedly set up an internal working group, bringing together senior figures across the organisation, to debate the final decision.