Reports this week indicate that former President Donald Trump is exploring the possibility of returning to Facebook and Twitter as his 2024 White House bid gains momentum.
Despite earlier suggestions that he would rely exclusively on his Truth Social platform to get his message out to voters, a campaign spokesperson expressed the opinion that larger social media sites are vital to running an effective campaign.
“Free speech is an essential part of democracy and President Trump must be allowed to speak directly to the American people so they can be informed about his vision as they cast their ballots,” Steven Cheung said this week. “We have seen how Big Tech has tried to silence President Trump and other conservatives, and continuing this abhorrent practice is un-American and undemocratic.”
Of course, Twitter restored Trump’s account following Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform but the former president refrained from posting anything new to his feed.
In response to evidence that the Trump team is mulling a return, the Tesla CEO expressed curiosity about how the current president would act and whether the White House would choose to “weaponize” the government against Twitter.
Will be interesting to see how the Biden administration reacts to this.
They may try to weaponize Federal agencies against Twitter.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 18, 2023
Musk has presided over the release of troves of internal Twitter documents in recent months, collectively known as the Twitter Files, which have shown the influence of federal agencies and elected officials in the platform’s decisions prior to his acquisition of the company.
Although Trump could return to Twitter whenever he chooses, Facebook’s parent company has not yet issued a ruling regarding whether his account would be reinstated on that platform.
Like Twitter, Trump’s Facebook profile was suspended in the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021, protest on Capitol Hill. At the time, the company asserted that the account would remain banned for at least two years.
Trump’s campaign recently wrote to Meta requesting a meeting to discuss his reinstatement.
“We believe that the ban on President Trump’s account on Facebook has dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse,” the letter stated.
The former president confirmed ongoing negotiations but made it clear that he believes Facebook would benefit more from reinstating his account than his campaign would.
“If they took us back, it would help them greatly, and that’s OK with me,” he asserted. “But they need us more than we need them.”