Facebook Blocks President Trump From Posting for “At Least” the Remainder of His Term
Yesterday, both Facebook and Twitter shut down President Trump’s access to their services. Twitter announced that they would require Trump to delete two messages and then he could use the service again in 12 hours. On the other hand, Facebook announced they would be suspending Trump’s account at least through the end of his term in office.
Facebook seemed particularly concerned about the video President Trump put out yesterday after a mob of protesters forced its way into the Capitol Building. Guy Rosen, Facebook’s “vice president of integrity” (seriously?) noted that in a tweet.
This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump's video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.
— Guy Rosen (@guyro) January 6, 2021
Today, Mark Zuckerberg followed up with more information in a Facebook post.
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.
Both Facebook and Twitter were upset about this short video President Trump put out last night. The video did ask the mob of protesters in the Capitol Building to go home peacefully but most of the video was spent talking about election fraud, which in Facebook’s view may have been more likely to whip people up than calm them down.