- Mark Zuckerberg today said Donald Trump is indefinitely banned from Facebook and Instagram following yesterday’s riots that saw Trump supporters storm the US Capitol.
- Zuckerberg said the decision was made to help ensure a peaceful transition of power.
In the wake of the shocking and utterly despicable riot that occurred at the Capitol building yesterday, both Instagram and Facebook decided to indefinitely ban Trump from their platforms. The decision comes after Trump helped stoke the flames of revolt with his incendiary rhetoric and his refusal to condemn the behavior of rioters who clashed with police.
Mark Zuckerberg announced the ban via a Facebook post earlier today. The overarching goal of the ban, more so than being punitive for past behavior, is to prevent Trump from galvanizing his base while simultaneously spreading a range of unfounded and discredited conspiracy theories. In short, the ban was enacted to help ensure a peaceful transition of power.
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Zuckerberg’s full statement reads as follows:
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.
Incidentally, Trump was temporarily locked out of his Twitter account for 12 hours yesterday after posting a pair of tweets that were flagged for inciting violence. Twitter added that Trump’s account would remain locked until the tweets were removed.