Following the chaos that erupted yesterday when Pro-Trump supporters laid siege to the US Capitol Hill, social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook removed a widely-condemned video from Donald Trump citing a risk of violence and for going against their policies. It was followed by a temporary one-day suspension of his accounts. Now, Facebook (as well as Instagram) has gone a step further and has disabled Donald Trump’s account indefinitely. The news was announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself in a lengthy post that you can read below:
|“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.”
Now, the term ‘indefinitely’ is quite broad, but Zuckerberg’s statement does hint that Trump’s account might remain suspended until the transfer of power to president-elect Joe Biden is successfully over. Instagram head Adam Mosseri tweeted that an Instagram suspension will remain in place for at least the next two weeks.
Twitter placed a 12-hour suspension yesterday, but has hinted that Donald Trump’s account will be permanently banned if any more serious violations are recorded. It now remains to be seen if Twitter follows in the footsteps of Facebook and Instagram, and disable Trump’s account until the process of power transfer is complete to prevent any further mishaps.