Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, is charged with deciding whether Donald Trump will be allowed to return to Facebook and Instagram in 2023, Clegg said on Thursday.
Speaking at an event held in Washington by news organization Semafor, Clegg said the company was seriously debating whether Trump’s accounts should be reinstated and said it was a decision that “I oversee and I drive”.
Clegg added that while he will be making the final call, he will consult the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook board of directors and outside experts.
“It’s not a capricious decision,” he said. “We will look at the signals related to real-world harm to make a decision whether at the two-year point – which is early January next year – whether Trump gets reinstated to the platform.”
The former president was suspended from a number of online platforms, including those owned by Meta, following the 6 January 2021 Capitol riot during which Trump used his social media accounts to praise and perpetuate the violence.
While Twitter banned Trump permanently, Meta suspended Trump’s accounts for two years, to be later re-evaluated. In May 2021, a temporary ban was upheld by Facebook’s oversight board – a group of appointed academics and former politicians meant to operate independently of Facebook’s corporate leadership.
However, the board returned the final decision on Trump’s accounts to Meta, suggesting the company decide in six months whether to make the ban permanent. Clegg said that decision will be made by 7 January 2023.
Clegg previously served as Britain’s deputy prime minister and joined Facebook as vice‑president for global affairs and communications in 2018. In February, he was promoted to the top company policy executive role.
In the years since he began at Meta, Clegg has seen the company through a number of scandals, including scrutiny of its policies during the 2016 US presidential election, Facebook’s role in the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar, and the revelations made by whistleblower Frances Haugen.