Trump Is Banned on Facebook ‘at Least’ Until His Term is Over
Facebook will block President Trump on its platforms, including Instagram, at least until the end of his term in office, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on Thursday.
“The shocking events of the past 24 hours clearly show that President Donald Trump wants to use his remaining term of office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transfer of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” wrote Zuckerberg.
“We believe the risk that the president will continue to use our ministry during this time is just too great,” he said. “That is why we are extending the block that we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful change of power is complete.”
Facebook had previously announced it would suspend Mr Trump’s account for 24 hours after several posts from the President on Wednesday appeared to fuel the violence in the Capitol. Mr Trump was also suspended from Twitter, which put his account on hold for 12 hours and required him to delete three tweets that the company said could cause violence to regain access.
The unprecedented decisions by Twitter and Facebook come after the social media companies allowed Mr. Trump for years to violate their guidelines with no impact.
In the past few months, Twitter and Facebook had begun rolling back the president’s posts and adding fact-checking labels to some of his most dangerous statements. Mr Trump returned, signed an executive order removing legal protections from social media companies, claiming they were censoring conservative voices.
The suspensions have effectively cut off Mr. Trump from the megaphone he was using to anger his grassroots and could further fuel the president’s outrage. He has more than 88 million followers on Twitter and 35 million followers on Facebook.
Mr. Zuckerberg and other executives at Facebook had given Mr. Trump considerable leeway on his Facebook account for years, so that the president’s false statements could often stay on the network despite heavy criticism.
Mr Zuckerberg has repeatedly said that he does not want Facebook to be “the arbiter of the truth” in political discourse and that he firmly believes in the protection of language on Facebook, the platform he founded and which is now used by more than three billion people worldwide is being used.
“We did this because we believe the public has a right to the widest possible access to political speeches, even controversial speeches,” Zuckerberg said in his note on Thursday morning.
“The current context is now fundamentally different and includes the use of our platform to instigate violent uprisings against a democratically elected government,” said Zuckerberg.