“Meta says it won’t punish Trump for attacking the 2020 election results. But the 2024 vote is a different story”

Oliver Darcy of CNN confirms the point I raised in my Slate piece: Trump can say whatever he wants about the last election without sanction:

Nine minutes after Meta announced that it will allow Donald Trump back on its platforms, the disgraced ex-president was on his own Truth Social app posting about supposed election fraud in the 2020 election.

It’s nothing unusual for Trump. A research report published earlier this month by the watchdog group Accountable Tech found that Trump had written more than 200 posts containing “harmful election-related disinformation” since he was banished from Meta’s platforms.

But now, once again, Trump is Meta’s problem. The social media giant announced on Wednesday, unsurprisingly, that Trump will be permitted back on Facebook and Instagram, setting the stage for some thorny content moderation calls in the weeks, months, and years ahead.

And those content moderation calls are likely to be contentious.

For instance, a Meta spokesperson said Trump will be permitted to attack the results of the 2020 election without facing consequences from the company. However, the spokesperson said, if Trump were to cast doubt on an upcoming election — like, the 2024 presidential race — the social giant will take action. In those cases, Meta might limit the distribution of the violative post or restrict access to advertising tools.

But attacks on the 2020 election will only serve to cast doubt on the integrity of future elections. And Meta will undoubtedly face scrutiny for its high-stakes decisions on the issue as Trump inevitably approaches the line.

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