“Inside Facebook’s high-stakes debate to reinstate Trump after a two-year ban”


“It’s a judgment call,” acknowledges Katie Harbath, a former public policy director at Facebook. “It’s very important to recognize that both of these decisions are going to have a ton of impactful consequences. And it would be foolish to think that either way is an easy decision,” she told CNN.

Former president Donald Trump works on his phone during a roundtable at the State Dining Room of the White House June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC.Alex Wong/Getty Images

Harbath, who worked in Republican politics before joining Facebook, said while she believed it was the right decision for Facebook to suspend Trump in January 2021, she has struggled with the issue.

“In the lead up to that moment, I was still defending keeping him on the platform, because as horrible as some of the things were that he posted, I still just couldn’t get myself past the point that I thought that people deserve to know what the people that are representing them have to say,” she said.

But Harbath said she believes Trump should be allowed back on the platform with a stringent set of rules outlining how he could be suspended if he once again breaks the company’s policies.

“I don’t think it should take another January 6th level event in order to do that,” she said.

Harbath, now the CEO of Anchor Change, a tech policy consulting firm, has published a proposal for how Trump could return to the platform.

Katie’s proposal is part of the set of diverse views published by the Stanford/UCLA Safeguarding Democracy Project conference on the decision to replatform Trump.

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