In a statement posted this morning, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirms plans to ban Trump from using the platform “indefinitely”
Facebook will ban Donald Trump’s account “indefinitely,” according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who issued a new statement on the decision this morning following yesterday’s Trump-incited domestic terrorism at the Capitol.
The restrictions on Trump’s account will continue for the next two weeks, leading up to the end of his term, and could extend beyond that — possibly permanently, as a result of yesterday’s riots, Zuckerberg said.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg wrote in the post. “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.”
“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,” the post began. “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.”
This decision is an escalation from Facebook’s tolerance of dangerous Trump rhetoric and misinformation, as the company has faced immense pressure to hold him accountable many times throughout the last four years. Trump’s intentional, inciteful remarks surrounding the insurrection where Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building to protest the results of the November election — even openly encouraging it — appears to be the final straw for Zuckerberg and Facebook, with just 13 days left of his presidency.
“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,” Zuckerberg wrote.
The ban was initially supposed to last 24 hours, and included Trump’s Instagram.
“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,” Zuckerberg said. “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.”
Yesterday, Twitter prevented Trump from using his account for 12 hours following the riots, after the President used the platform to tell the violent white supremacists causing death and destruction that they were “special” and that he “loves” them.