Facebook and Instagram announced on Thursday they are banning President Donald Trump’s accounts at least until January 20 when the inauguration of his successor Joe Biden will take place.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced via his platform that Trump will be blocked from using both Facebook and Instagram “for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
The company blocked his accounts temporarily on Wednesday following Trump’s posting on content that incited his followers to violence, but now Zuckerberg says the ban is extended “indefinitely,” extending at least until Biden takes over as President.
Zuckerberg acknowledges that Trump content has in the past been labeled or removed when found to violate its policies, but that he had been allowed up until now to “use our platform consistent with our own rules.”
He says that has now changed, due to “use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”
During his personal address to Wednesday’s protestors when they were near the White House, before they swarmed the Capitol building, Trump had stated that they could never “take back our country with weakness.” This was widely viewed as a call for force against those who supported the election of Joe Biden.
Full post from Zuckerberg
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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. 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.
“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.”
Instagram head Adam Mosseri wrote on twitter:
Given the exceptional circumstances, and the fact that the President has decided to condone rather than condemn yesterday’s violence at the Capital, we are extending the block we have placed on his accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks.
— Adam Mosseri 😷 (@mosseri) January 7, 2021