Facebook has banned outgoing United States President Donald Trump from using its platforms. Trump has been banned from using Facebook and Instagram indefinitely, following the violence which erupted in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, when thousands of his supporters stormed the Capitol. The President’s supporters vandalised buildings and in some cases attacked law enforcement officers as they protested against the election results.
In a post on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the social media giant was banning the President indefinitely because the risks of allowing him to continue using the platforms are too great. Zuckerberg said that Trump wants to undermine the peaceful transition of power to Joe Biden, the winner of the Nov. 3 election. Zuckerberg also highlighted that Trump has used the platform to condone the actions of his supporters instead of condemning them.
Below is the full post from Zuckerberg,
The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world. We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect — and likely their intent — would be to provoke further violence.Following the certification of the election results by Congress, the priority for the whole country must now be to ensure that the remaining 13 days and the days after inauguration pass peacefully and in accordance with established democratic norms.Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies. We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech. But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.
The Verge reports that Facebook’s decision to ban Trump is an unprecedented escalation in the platform’s approach to moderating the president’s posts. As rioters stormed the Capitol Wednesday, Facebook removed a video from Trump responding to the violence. In it, Trump made false claims about the 2020 election results, and told rioters to “go home” hours after the initial invasion began. Facebook cycled through three different labels on the video before the platform decided to remove it outright around an hour after it was posted.
In a statement Wednesday, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, declared the Capitol riot as “an emergency situation.” He continued, “We removed [Trump’s video] because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”
Twitter locked Trump’s account Wednesday evening, but has not issued any longterm ban on the outgoing president. In a tweet thread Wednesday, Twitter announced the block as a response to three tweets that violated its policies. Once Trump removed those tweets, the 12 hour lockout period began.
“Future violations of the Twitter Rules… will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account,” said Twitter’s policy account after putting the block in place.