Former President Donald Trump, purged from mainstream social media sites following January 6th and only let back onto Twitter when Elon Musk bought the platform and reversed some of the woker policies of the former management team, could soon be coming back to Twitter.
He has so far stayed off, likely because of both his business interest in remaining on Truth Social, his contract with that platform, and residual hostility for having been kicked off of the platform in 2021 and censored by it many times before then.
But now, according to a new report in NBC News, it looks like Trump could finally be coming back to Twitter. As that report put it:
Mounting a comeback for the White House, Donald Trump is looking to regain control over his powerful social media accounts.
With access to his Twitter account back, Trump’s campaign is formally petitioning Facebook’s parent company to unblock his account there after it was locked in response to the U.S. Capitol riot two years ago.
“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.
Trump’s campaign didn’t threaten a lawsuit, as some sources close to Trump thought he would. It instead talked about the importance of free speech and petitioned Meta for a “meeting to discuss President Trump’s prompt reinstatement to the platform.”
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.”
A Republican, speaking to NBC on the matter, said “Trump is probably coming back to Twitter. It’s just a question of how and when. He’s been talking about it for weeks, but Trump speaks for Trump, so it’s anyone’s guess what he’ll do or say or when.”
Further, according to NBC, he’s already having his first tweet crafted. “Another Trump confidant who also didn’t want to be identified speaking about conversations with him said that Trump has sought input for weeks about hopping back on Twitter and that his campaign advisers have also workshopped ideas for his first tweet,” NBC reports.
NBC, reporting on the other factors potentially influencing Trump’s decision, also said:
Some advisers said Trump might be limited in posting on other social media platforms now that he has founded his own, called Truth Social. Truth Social declined to comment about any alleged limits, and a spokesman for Trump said the campaign believes he’ll be able to return to Twitter as before.
Another Trump adviser, who has spoken with him about Facebook and shared the gist of the private conversation with NBC News on condition of anonymity, said that his campaign believes Facebook will ultimately honor the two-year ban and reinstate him but that it’s prepared to engage with House Republicans who control the lower chamber of Congress to advocate on Trump’s behalf and pressure Meta. The adviser said Congress is likely to examine Section 230 of the federal law affecting social media companies.
As Mediaite reported on that agreement in November, saying:
The agreement governing the proposed merger does set some parameters for how Trump would be allowed to use a rival social media platform, and yet another issue that could be part of a lawsuit by aggrieved shareholders if the planned merger goes through but the stock tanks.
Trump “is generally obligated to make any social media post on TruthSocial and may not make the same post on another social media site for 6 hours. Thereafter, he is free to post on any site to which he has access.” He is also “may make a post from a personal account related to political messaging, political fundraising or get-out-the-vote efforts on any social media site at any time.”
In other words, if Trump tweets anything that he hasn’t already posted on Truth Social at least six hours in advance, it’s going to come down to the exact interpretation of what is considered “political messaging.”
Another potential holdup for Trump is that Democrats are still fighting viciously to keep him off platforms, particularly Facebook. Adam Schiff, for instance, wrote a letter to Meta saying:
Following the 2022 midterm elections, we write to urge Meta to maintain its commitment to keeping dangerous and unfounded election denial content off its platform. To that end, we also urge Meta and its leadership to continue the suspension of former president Donald Trump’s Facebook account beyond January, and to carefully monitor and counter the spread of harmful election misinformation, including the Big Lie about the 2020 presidential election, on Facebook.
After each election cycle, social media platforms like Meta often alter or rollback certain misinformation policies, because they are temporary and specific to the election season. Doing so in this current environment, in which election disinformation continuously erodes trust in the integrity of the voting process, would be a tragic mistake. Meta must commit to strong election misinformation policies yearround, as we are still witnessing falsehoods about voting and the prior elections spreading on your platform.
Meta has previously taken concrete actions to fight falsehoods and misinformation regarding elections, such as Facebook’s adding labels on election-related posts promoting reliable information in 2020 and 2021, which was an important step in countering the proliferation of election misinformation on the platform. We also supported Meta’s decision to suspend the Facebook account of former president Trump for, “maintaining an unfounded narrative of electoral fraud and persistent calls to action” therefore creating “an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible” according to the Facebook Oversight Board.1 That risk persists, and certainly has not diminished since the former president’s removal.
For Meta to credibly maintain a legitimate election integrity policy, it is essential that your company maintain its platform ban on former president Trump. We understand that the initial suspension of his account expires in January, and that Meta will then make a decision regarding the future of his account. When initially suspending the account, Facebook’s statement said, “If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to reevaluate until that risk has receded.”2 Two years later, we can see unequivocally that Trump is still spreading the Big Lie and thus undermining our democracy. Indeed, he has expressed support for pardoning people involved in the January 6th attack on police, should he ever get the chance.
But, despite all that, the contract and the hate from the left, Trump could be coming back to Twitter and Facebook. Let’s get ready for some awesome tweets!
"*" indicates required fields