Former U.S. President Donald Trump is requesting Facebook to reactivate his account two years after it was deactivated, according to his aides, as he prepares for a third presidential attempt.

Trump's campaign is formally petitioning Facebook's parent company to reinstate his account there, which was shut in response to the U.S. Capitol riot in 2021.

The former reality television personality had spent weeks falsely claiming that the presidential election had been stolen from him, and he was later impeached for instigating the unrest.

Trump's lawyer, Scott Gast, stated in a letter obtained by AFP to Facebook parent company Meta that the ban had "dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse."

He requested a meeting to talk about Trump's "prompt reinstatement to the platform," where he had 34 million followers, contending that his position as the front-runner for the Republican candidacy in 2024 justified lifting the restriction.

"We also believe that a continued ban would basically constitute... a deliberate effort by a private company to silence Mr. Trump's political voice," Gast wrote.

In December, a U.S. congressional committee suggested that Trump be charged with crimes related to the assault on the Capitol.

After the violence, his 88 million-follower Twitter account was also suspended, forcing the 76-year-old Republican to use his own platform, Truth Social, for communication.

The boundaries of Truth Social's reach are further highlighted by Trump's ambitions to increase his social media presence. In comparison to roughly 88 million on Twitter and 34 million on Facebook, Trump has barely more than 4.8 million followers on the platform.

Facebook had previously stated that, on Jan. 7, after two years, it will reevaluate Trump's ban.

"We will announce a decision in the coming weeks in line with the process we laid out." the company told AFP on Wednesday.

Trump's unexpected triumph in 2016 was attributed in part to his use of social media and his vast digital reach.

In 2016, Facebook was critical to Trump's triumph, as his campaign utilized computer programming to personalize advertising to viewers' data - a practice known as microtargeting - which helped him raise money from small-dollar donations and out-message Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign.

According to Bloomberg News, an internal Facebook investigation indicated that Trump ran 5.9 million different versions of advertising, compared to 66,000 for Clinton.

Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, reactivated Trump's account last November, just days after the businessman announced his intention to run for another term in the White House. He has not yet posted.