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“I’M BACK”: Trump returns to Facebook and YouTube after two-year ban

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump made his first posts on his recovered Facebook and YouTube accounts on Friday, more than two years after he was banned over the US Capitol riot.

“I’M BACK,” Trump exclaimed, alongside a 12-second video clip that appeared to show him delivering his victory speech after winning the 2016 election, saying, “Sorry to keep you waiting — complicated stuff.”

The 76-year-old Republican leader, who is running for president again, was unable to post content to his 34 million Facebook followers and 2.6 million YouTube subscribers.

The platforms benched Trump days after the Jan. 6, 2021 uprising, when a mob of his supporters seeking to stop confirmation of his election defeat to Joe Biden stormed the US Capitol in Washington.

He was sanctioned for posting content that platforms said sparked unrest, and YouTube announced his reinstatement on Friday, two months after Facebook said it would unban his account.

The former reality TV star had spent weeks falsely claiming his presidential election had been stolen and was subsequently charged with inciting the riots.

“As of today, Donald J. Trump’s channel is no longer restricted from uploading new content,” YouTube said in a statement.

“We carefully assessed the ongoing risk of violence in the real world, while also weighing the opportunity for voters to hear equally from key national candidates in the run-up to an election.”

– Stay away from Twitter? –

Republican leaders raged at Trump’s being booted from Facebook, while a group of congressional Democrats had called on parent company Meta to extend the ban to “keep dangerous and unfounded vote-trucle content off its platform.”

The social networking giant announced in January that it would reinstate Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts with “new guardrails.”

Trump’s attorney Scott Gast wrote to the Bay Area-based company that it had “dramatically distorted and inhibited public discourse.”

The former president’s Twitter account, which has 87 million followers, was also suspended after the riot, allowing him to communicate on his own platform, Truth Social, where he has fewer than five million followers.

New Twitter owner Elon Musk rehired Trump last November, days after Trump announced a new run at the White House, but he has yet to post there.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed more than 400 lawsuits against Trump, welcomed Meta’s decision.

“Like it or not, President Trump is one of the country’s leading political figures and the public has a strong interest in hearing his speech,” Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a statement.

“Indeed, some of Trump’s most offensive social media posts have become critical evidence in lawsuits filed against him and his administration.”

But advocacy groups like Media Matters for America vehemently oppose allowing Trump to exploit the reach of the big tech giants’ social networks.

Media Matters accused Meta of “ignoring its ongoing ‘public safety risk,’ which is the bar the company has set for its return.”

“Meta’s decision is a green light for Trump to promote harmful content on its platforms and shows that the company still prioritizes profit – and the appeasement of right-wing figures – over public safety,” it added in a statement added.

Trump’s shock victory in 2016 was partially credited to his social media influence and vast digital reach.

A US Congressional committee recommended in December that he be prosecuted for his role in the attack on the US Capitol.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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