Major social media giants, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, on Thursday, banned, restricted, or “suspended indefinitely” US President Donald Trump from their platforms following his allegedly provocative posts which led to a violent insurrection at Capitol Hill. YouTube has also removed several Trump videos.
Around 9:30 pm IST, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted, “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.”
Zuckerberg wrote, “Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump; to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at a time removing content or labelling his posts; when they violate our policies. 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 the use of our platforms; to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”
Twitter also asked for the removal of three of Trump’s tweets; and banned him from using the platform for 12 hours following their deletion. The social media giant Snapchat too restricted the President from posting to his account indefinitely.
One of the tweets, which the microblogging platform; took down, contained a video, posted two hours after the siege at the Capitol, which showed Trump; asking protestors to go home, but also had him repeat his claims of “fraudulent” election results. Twitter had initially not taken down the video but had restricted people from retweeting, liking, and commenting on it.
Trump has been using his social media accounts to challenge the 2020 Presidential election since the declaration of results in early November last year, calling them fraudulent on several occasions. Twitter had flagged several of his tweets, labelling them as “disputed”.