18 January 2023
(The Hill) — As he gears up for a third bid for the White House, former President Donald Trump is urging Facebook to unblock his account on the social media site after it was barred following the Capitol insurrection two years ago.
The Trump campaign formally petitioned Meta, Facebook’s parent company, to unlock the former president’s account on Tuesday, according to a report from NBC News.
“We believe that the ban on President Trump’s account on Facebook has dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse,” the Trump campaign letter to the company said, according to NBC News.
Trump’s overture to Facebook comes after his Twitter account was restored by the company’s new head, Elon Musk. The move to regain access of his Facebook account could signal a return to more mainstream social media platforms for Trump. He has spent most of his time post-Twitter ban on Truth Social, a social media company he founded in 2021.
Trump was banned from both Twitter and Facebook a day after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol, when protesters attempted to interfere with the certification of the 2020 election. Trump and state officials in his orbit spent time after the 2020 contest spreading misinformation arguing that the presidential election was stolen from Trump.
Facebook handed down a ban on Trump’s account that would come up for review on Jan. 7 of this year. Twitter reinstated Trump’s Twitter account, which has more than 87 million followers, on Nov. 19. He has yet to post on the site.
Trump is considering a return to Twitter, according to the NBC News report.
In November, Trump announced his decision to run for another term in the White House. The success of Trump’s 2016 campaign was due in part to his massive digital reach on sites like Twitter and Facebook. On his Truth Social platform, Trump has just 4.8 million followers.