Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg Thursday banned the account of President Donald Trump indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks for using the platform to “incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”
“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 said in Facebook post.
It’s the strongest stance yet by the social media giant as the sector weathers intense criticism as it attempts to deal with the events of yesterday, when a storm of Trump supported broke into the Capitol during hours of chaos that shuttered Congress as lawmakers attempted to certify the election of Joe Biden.
Facebook Joins Twitter In Locking Donald Trump's Account Over His Posts On Capitol Chaos - Update
Twitter banned Trump for 12 hours yesterday pending removal of three incendiary tweets from throughout the day, one including a video where he called the rioters “very special.” It said the account could be permanently suspended if the outgoing president continues to violate its policies on inciting violence and misinformation. Trump has 88 million followers on Twitter and 35 million on Facebook.
Snapchat locked the president’s account yesterday indefinitely.
A stream of tech executives, Hollywood players and politicians — from early Facebook investor and Elevation Partners founder Roger McNamee to former Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang and Sacha Baron Cohen — are blasting the social media platforms for enabling Trump over time in the long lead-up to the violence in Washington, D.C. The so-far insoluble issue is that for-profit social media, which lives on advertising, needs to engage users — and hate speech coupled with misinformation is extremely engaging.
Facebook’s move today is “very important and I comment [them] for doing that, but I don’t think it solves the problem. They allowed this kind of behavior to build for so long,” McNamee told CNBC Thursday.
Also Thursday, e-commerce provider Shopify took websites run by the Trump campaign and Trump Organization offline in response to the riot, according to news reports.
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