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January 30, 2023

Schiff, Whitehouse Question Meta Decision to Reinstate Trump on Facebook

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sent a letter to Meta's President of Global Affairs, Nicholas Clegg, sharply questioning their decision to reinstate former President Donald J. Trump on the platform given his continued efforts to spread the Big Lie and undermine our democracy.

“Based on Meta’s previous statements on standards for allowing Trump back on the platform, his account should not have been reinstated. Trump has continued to post harmful election content on Truth Social that would likely violate Facebook’s policies, and we have every reason to believe he will bring similar conspiratorial rhetoric back to Facebook, too,” wrote Schiff and Whitehouse. “How Facebook could reinstate his account, given all the additional content on Truth Social that would likely have resulted in a brand-new suspension if it were on your platform, is inexplicable.”

Last month, Schiff and Whitehouse urged Meta to maintain its commitment to keeping dangerous and unfounded election denial content off its platform, including upholding the suspension of former president Donald Trump’s account in light of his continued efforts to spread the Big Lie that led to deadly violence on January 6.

Schiff and Whitehouse additionally asked for a briefing on Meta’s efforts to uphold election integrity and not allow their platform to be used to spread conspiracy theories and election lies.

“[W]e believe that part of Meta’s commitment to election integrity should be ensuring that those who maintain the unfounded, dangerous narrative of the 2020 election are not allowed or encouraged to spread the lie in any form. It is not clear in this decision where Meta will draw the line “between content that is harmful and should be removed, and content that, however distasteful or inaccurate, is part of the rough and tumble of life in a free society” and we would greatly appreciate further clarity on this matter,” wrote Schiff and Whitehouse.

The full text of the letter can be found here.