Facebook is suspending President Donald Trump from the platform “indefinitely,” following the temporary suspension placed on the president’s account after Wednesday’s pro-Trump riot that took over the U.S. Capitol.
Chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg revealed the president’s suspension in a Facebook post Thursday morning, writing: “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, who has been criticized in the past for allowing hate speech and misinformation to be shared on the social media platform, wrote that Facebook has allowed the president to use the platform during his presidency “consistent with our own rules,” but has at times removed his content or flagged his posts when they violated policies.
While this has been a controversial tactic that’s resulted in uproar by the public — and was a factor behind the #StopHateForProfit campaign that emerged over the summer — Zuckerberg said this decision was made because “the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech.”
Following the deadly pro-Trump riots that disrupted the Congress certifying President-elect Biden’s win on Jan. 6, Facebook and Twitter temporarily suspended the president from using its platforms for the first time. Trump spent the day tweeting his support for the rioters and spewing false claims that he won the 2020 election. Twitter blocked several of the his tweets from public view, stating they violated safety rules and cited the “ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C.”
“We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg wrote on the decision to suspend Trump’s account indefinitely. “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.”
Both Facebook and Twitter removed a video of Trump posted Wednesday of him telling the rioters in part, “I know your pain. I know your hurt. But you have to go home now. We love you. You’re very special.” The video had already been viewed at least 5 million times on Facebook and 10 million times on Twitter before the removal.
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