Yesterday, Meta announced it would soon welcome Donald Trump back to its Facebook and Instagram platforms, ending a two-year “suspension” the former U.S. president received after spreading false conspiracy theories about the 2020 elections and encouraging the violent insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. In response to the decision to provide Trump access once again to the billions of people who use Facebook and Instagram, Legal Defense Fund (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Janai S. Nelson issued the following statement:
“Let’s be clear: The moment Donald Trump returns to Facebook and Instagram, the rights and safety of millions of Americans, the viability of the U.S. Constitution, and the future of American democracy itself will all be placed in even greater danger than they are today.
“Despite Meta’s originally expressed hope that its suspension would ‘be significant enough to be a deterrent to Mr. Trump,’ the former president has spent the last two years waging a campaign to demonize two innocent Black elections administrators, spread falsehoods about the 2020 elections, and suggest that those who are being held accountable for participating in the January 6 insurrection are victims of a plot.
“Mr. Trump has even gone so far as to share an image of himself overlaid with the phrase ‘The Storm Is Coming’ — a reference to the QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that, on the day of ‘the storm,’ a reinstated President Trump will arrest, try, and possibly execute his political rivals. While Meta Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg claims in his statement justifying the reinstatement that ‘the risk’ represented by Mr. Trump’s demagoguery ‘has sufficiently receded,’ Mr. Trump appears to be no different than he has been before the suspension.
“There are no countervailing legal or ethical claims that compel Meta to reinstate Trump’s access to its influential platforms. Rather, this was a corporate decision that endangers many Facebook and Instagram users, as well as the public at large. We strongly urge Meta to reverse this reckless, unjustifiable, and irresponsible decision.”
Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.