Former US President Donald Trump posted on Facebook and YouTube on Friday, March 17, 2023 for the first time since his accounts were suspended two years ago following the attack on the Capitol.
“I’m back!” the former Republican leader, who is seeking to run for a second term in 2024, wrote alongside a 12-second video excerpt from his victory speech after the 2016 election, in which he says, “Sorry to keep you waiting – complicated business.”
His words drew thousands of comments, including “We’re glad to see you again” and “It’s a relief, Mr. President, that you’re back.”
Trump has 34 million followers on Facebook and more than 2.6 million on YouTube.
Earlier on Friday, YouTube announced that it would end the suspension of his account. Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, made a similar announcement in late January.
“As of today, Donald J. Trump’s channel is no longer restricted,” YouTube wrote on Twitter.
The 76-year-old Republican was purged from mainstream social media in January 2021 while still in office, for encouraging supporters during the attack on Congress in Washington.
On January 6 of that year, thousands of his supporters, convinced that the 2020 elections were marred by fraud, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, attacked the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Joe Biden from being elected president.
The non-governmental organization Media Matters for America has strongly criticized Meta’s decision to allow the former president to use the vast communication potential offered by the tech giants.
“Meta’s decision is a green light for Trump to promote toxic content on its platforms and shows that the company still prioritizes profit – and appeasement of far-right figures – over public safety,” it said in a statement.