The campaign for former President Donald Trump is seeking access to his Facebook account to be restored ahead of his bid for the presidency in 2024.
In a letter obtained by NBC News, Trump’s team said his ban from Facebook “dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse.”
Trump was banned from Facebook following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by thousands of his supporters. His account was suspended indefinitely on Jan. 7, 2021, and in June of that year Facebook announced his suspension would continue for at least two years.
In November, Twitter CEO Elon Musk restored Trump’s account that was also suspended following the Capitol riot. Musk hosted a poll of Twitter users that voted 51.8% in favor of restoring his account.
Trump is yet to re-engage with Twitter despite his account being activated almost three months ago.
Since being banned, Trump launched the social media platform Truth Social. He has 4.8 million followers on the app, versus the 34 million he had on Facebook.
Trump was active across Facebook and Twitter during his 2016 presidential campaign and throughout his one term in office. Both platforms tightened their restrictions on posting harmful content and disinformation after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Efforts to stop the spread of disinformation ramped up with Trump’s unfounded messaging about the 2020 presidential election, which he claimed was stolen by President Joe Biden.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a vocal opponent of Trump, issued a letter to Facebook’s parent company Meta, urging the company to keep Trump off its platform. Schiff said Trump has not relented in his campaign to cast doubt on the results of the 2020 election, as well as posting harmful messages.
“After each election cycle, social media platforms like Meta often alter or roll back certain misinformation policies, because they are temporary and specific to the election season,” the letter said.
“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.”
The letter cites Trump amplifying messages from the far-right conspiracy theorist group QAnon, which also has been banned from Facebook.
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