- Facebook has blocked President Donald Trump “indefinitely,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday.
- Zuckerberg said that the firm believed “the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great” and that it would ban him “for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
- On Wednesday, violent pro-Trump extremists stormed the US Capitol while lawmakers were certifying the result of the presidential election.
- Facebook and Twitter removed a video in which Trump spouted his baseless claims of election fraud and told his violent supporters to “go home” but added, “We love you; you’re very special.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Facebook has blocked President Donald Trump “indefinitely,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on Thursday.
Zuckerberg said the company believes that “the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.” He said Facebook would extend a block on Trump’s account “for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
On Wednesday, violent pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol as lawmakers were certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
As the extremists breached the Capitol by climbing walls and breaking windows and doors, many people called on Trump to demand that his supporters retreat. In a video, Trump told them to “go home” but did not condemn their actions. He added, “We love you; you’re very special.”
He also continued to baselessly claim that the election was fraudulent and that he won by a “landslide.”
Facebook removed the video, saying that “on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.” Twitter locked Trump’s account and removed three tweets, including one of the video. Trump has deleted the tweets.
In a statement to Insider, a Twitter representative said: “We’re continuing to evaluate the situation in real time, including examining activity on the ground and statements made off Twitter. We will keep the public informed, including if further escalation in our enforcement approach is necessary.”
The representative directed Insider to a tweet from Wednesday that said Trump’s account was locked “for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy.”
Trump has opted to use Twitter as a mouthpiece throughout his presidency. The company has cracked down on his posts since May, when it slapped a fact-check label on his tweets in which he said mail-in voting would lead to a “Rigged Election.”
Many people have called for Twitter to suspend Trump’s account, including on Wednesday during the US Capitol siege. But per the firm’s policies on world leaders, Trump has enjoyed certain protections â€” according to Twitter, showing what he has to say is in the public’s interest, even if he violates guidelines.
Far-right extremists had for weeks circulated plans to storm the Capitol, an expert told BuzzFeed News. Many used niche right-wing online havens like TheDonald and Parler, but they also used mainstream networks like Facebook and Twitter.
“Just imagine if ALL the Patriots who are gathered in DC right now were to Rush the Senate, the Supreme Court and the Halls of Congress and take them over,” one user wrote on Parler, according to Bloomberg.
BuzzFeed News said on Tuesday that it discovered a Facebook group with thousands of followers called Red State Secession that was calling for a “Second American Revolution” on Wednesday, the day that lawmakers intended to certify the election result. Talk of violence also escalated in smaller far-right groups on Facebook leading up to Wednesday’s siege.