“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service are simply too great,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said as he banned Mr. Trump from Instagram too.
Facebook banned President Donald Trump from the platform “indefinitely” due to his efforts to incite violence at the U.S. Capitol, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said on January 7.
Mr. Zuckerberg said the 24-hour ban announced on January 6 on Mr. Trump’s accounts including on Instagram was extended because of Mr. Trump’s “use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government”.
The Facebook CEO added: “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.”
The announcement came the day after the outgoing U.S. leader was locked out of all major social media platforms due to his false claims about the legitimacy of his loss to Mr. Biden, and for inciting the angry mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. “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.”
Mr. Trump’s favorite megaphone, Twitter, blocked him for 12 hours, but it was unclear on January 7 if the ban had been lifted.
Snapchat confirmed on January 7 that it locked Mr. Trump out of the photo sharing platform amid concerns over his dangerous rhetoric.
The social media announcements came after Mr. Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 in an unprecedented attack that led to one woman being shot and killed by police, interrupting the normally ceremonial procedure to certify Mr. Biden’s election victory.
Mr. Trump, who had addressed the mob and urged them to march on the Capitol, later released a video on social media in which he repeated the false claim of election fraud — even telling the mob “we love you”.
YouTube removed the video in line with its policy barring claims challenging election results.
Twitter said Mr. Trump’s messages were violations of the platform’s rules on civic integrity and that any future violations “will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account”.
The messaging platform said Mr. Trump’s account would be locked for 12 hours and that if the offending tweets were not removed, “the account will remain locked.”
Critics of the online platforms argued they moved too slowly as the January 6 violence was organised on social media, directing their ire at Mr. Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
“You’ve got blood on your hands, @jack and Zuck,” tweeted Chris Sacca, an early Facebook investor who has become one of its harshest critics. “For four years you’ve rationalized this terror. Inciting violent treason is not a free speech exercise. If you work at those companies, it’s on you too.”