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Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sources close to former President Trump believe he’s increasingly likely to run in 2024 — and that was even before the Facebook Oversight Board inflamed conservatives by upholding the ban on the former president.

Why it matters: Trump and his inner circle view Facebook reinstatement as crucial to his political comeback. The independent Oversight Board's decision, which gives the company six months to make a final determination, enraged Trumpworld.

Driving the news: Republicans instantly threatened regulatory vengeance. Mark Meadows, former White House chief of staff under Trump, said on Fox News that the announcement was "a sad day for America."

  • "It's a sad day for Facebook because I can tell you a number of members of Congress are now looking at: Do they break up Facebook? Do they make sure that they don't have a monopoly?"
  • "I can tell you that it is two different standards — one for Donald Trump, and one for a number of other people that are on their sites and suggesting more nefarious things than what the president has been accused of, [and] actually go unnoticed, often."

Meadows said the discussion about breaking up Big Tech will begin "within hours" on Capitol Hill: "This is a sad day for America, but a sadder day for the Facebooks of the world, who have actually enjoyed a very wild, wild West kind of regulatory environment. I can tell you that's going to change."

  • The decision gives Trump a juicy new target. But he needs Facebook for a run — both for its fundraising power, and for identifying and mobilizing supporters.
  • His advisers submitted a lengthy written argument to the Oversight Board, and were cautiously optimistic that Trump would be re-platformed.

A top Republican consultant told Axios the decision "reaffirms the view that Big Tech is biased against conservatives."

  • "I don’t think there’s going to be single conservative in America who’s surprised by this," the consultant said.

Go deeper

Updated May 5, 2021 - Technology

Oversight Board upholds Trump's Facebook suspension

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook's independent Oversight Board upheld the platform's suspension of former President Trump's account but told the social media giant to rethink the ban's "indefinite" nature.

Why it matters: The decision sets a global precedent for how Facebook, and potentially other social media companies, will treat political leaders around the world.

Trump and inner circle hang on Facebook verdict

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Donald Trump and his inner circle are anxiously awaiting Facebook's decision about whether to reinstate him to the platform, viewing it as the propellant for an increasingly likely second presidential campaign in 2024.

Why it matters: The decision, due Wednesday morning, could shape the campaign, because Trump's confidants view Facebook as the linchpin to his fundraising and online political strategy.

Trump's spell over the media broke once he lost his megaphones

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Axios Visuals

Social media interactions about former President Trump have fallen 91% since January, according to exclusive data from NewsWhip.

Why it matters: When Trump lost his social media accounts, he lost his once-immense power to put himself at the center of Americans' attention.