By Brian Fung, CNN
Two Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday urged Meta to maintain Donald Trump’s suspension from its platforms when it revisits the matter in January, arguing that the former president’s recent posts on his own social media platform suggest he is likely to violate the social media giant’s policies if given a chance.
The letter from California Rep. Adam Schiff and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse cites numerous news reports about Trump’s postings on Truth Social, the former president’s Twitter alternative. They characterize his remarks as election misinformation and, in some cases, incitement.
On Truth Social, Trump has also reportedly amplified adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory that Meta banned from its platforms in 2020, the lawmakers wrote.
“For Meta to credibly maintain a legitimate election integrity policy, it is essential that your company maintain its platform ban on former president Trump,” the letter said. “Based on Meta’s own statement on standards for allowing Trump back on the platform, his account should continue to be restricted.”
Meta declined to comment on Wednesday’s letter.
The company suspended Trump for two years after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, over concerns he had fomented violence. With the help of outside experts, it plans to assess in early January whether to lift Trump’s restrictions and allow him to post on its platforms once again.
A key metric in determining whether Trump’s account will be restored will be whether there is a continued risk of real-world violence, Meta has said. Nick Clegg, the company’s head of global affairs, said in September that false claims about election outcomes would not necessarily be a factor in the decision.
“It’s not whether you say the truth or not, it’s whether what you say or do incites violence and can be clearly linked to developments in the real world which threaten real world harm,” Clegg said at an event hosted by the news outlet Semafor. “It’s not about truth or lies.”
If Trump is allowed back on Meta’s platforms and breaks the rules again, Meta said last year, he would face an “escalating” set of sanctions that will include the possibility of a permanent ban.
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