Although former President Donald Trump will remain banned from posting on Facebook, the platform will no longer fact-check any of his public statements if they are shared to the site by other users, according to an internal Facebook memo obtained by CNN.
The decision to stop fact-checking Trump’s commentaries — including those that are blatantly false, such as his continued insistence that widespread election fraud affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential race — comes in light of Trump’s announcement that he will be running for president in 2024. Facebook’s policies state that politicians (defined as current officeholders or candidates for political office) are exempt from the site’s fact-checking policy.
Facebook has not yet lifted its indefinite suspension of Trump, which was implemented almost two years ago after the former president’s lies and incendiary rhetoric resulted in the attack on the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021.
“The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post the day after the attack.
Facebook kept the ban in place after its Oversight Board conducted a review of the action in May 2021. One month after the review, polling showed that 51 percent of Americans agreed with the decision.
But Facebook may lift Trump’s indefinite ban as soon as this coming January, a company executive said earlier this year.
Trump may soon return to other social media sites as well. Elon Musk, who recently completed his purchase of Twitter, hinted that Trump’s account may be reinstated in a post earlier this month, saying that it could happen within “a few more weeks.”
Musk also said in March that Trump should be allowed back on the site, claiming “it was not correct to ban Donald Trump.” But polling has shown that most Americans approve of the social media bans imposed on the former president.
Two months after Musk’s comments in March, a Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 53 percent of Americans agreed with Twitter’s decision to ban Trump after the Capitol attack, while only 37 percent said they disagreed with the move.