In the wake of yesterday’s incidents at the US Capitol, Facebook is officially suspending President Donald Trump’s account through at least January 21, if not longer, company CEO Mark Zuckerberg said today.
“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,” Zuckerberg said in (naturally) a Facebook post.
“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.”
Zuckerberg concluded, “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.”
In a rare move, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube yesterday all deleted a video statement and other messages from Trump as he egged on the insurrectionists who broke into the Capitol while Congress was trying to formally certify the results of the November 2020 presidential election.
Trump first spoke to the crowd before they made their way to Capitol Hill, vowing he would “never concede” President-elect Joe Biden’s win and urging them to march to the Capitol to “give our Republicans… the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
A short time later, rioters stormed the Capitol, breaking in and forcing the evacuation of members of Congress, congressional and building staff, and media who were present. During the height of the chaos, Trump took to Twitter to continue to excoriate Vice President Mike Pence for not overturning the results of the election, leading to calls not only to remove Trump’s tweets but also to ban him from the platform. Twitter eventually took action against three tweets and issued a temporary ban, which at this time is expected to expire in a few hours.