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Outgoing President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Twitter accounts were temporarily suspended after the social media giants determined the posts about the horde that breached the Capitol building violated platform rules on Jan. 6, 2021. Suspensions on social media platforms restrict Trump’s posting activity.
Facebook has removed Trump’s privileges indefinitely, according to The Washington Post, on January 7. The suspension applies to Instagram as well. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated:
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.
He got off easy on Twitter with a 12-hour restriction — sarcastically referred to as Twitter-jail among users.
Trump addressed his supporters about an hour before the masses attacked the Capitol’s sanctity, where Congress was meeting to confirm the Electoral Votes. He told them to march down Pennsylvania Avenue and tell the legislators how they feel about the stolen election.
The two short videos the president posted during the siege were inflammatory, with repeated statements about the stolen election. Trump commiserated with the mob telling them he understood their pain and anger.
The president should have told them to go home; instead, he suggested they go home. He ended the tweet with, “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
@TwitterSafety posted this explanation about their decision:
As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy.
Trump was given the option to remove the posts. When he did not, Twitter removed them. Facebook made the same decision shortly before Twitter; his posts were removed because they contributed rather than diminished the threat of violence.
During the siege at the Capitol building, Trump supposedly ordered the National Guard be deployed. Their late response seems to indicate he took his sweet time. White House Kayleigh McEnany took to Twitter to support her boss:
At President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services. We reiterate President Trump’s call against violence and to remain peaceful.
Twitter began applying labels to the president’s tweets that held inaccurate information about COIVD-19, mail-in ballots, and the illegitimate results of the “stolen election” in 2020. The social media platforms have suffered criticism that they are biased against conservatives.
Twelve hours is not a long enough Twitter suspension for “apparently inciting domestic terrorism,” tweeted former HUD secretary Julian Castro. He added they should shut down @realDonaldTrump’s account.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) agreed 12 hours was not long enough. His post said Trump was a danger to the United States’ democracy and should be banned until after President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris is inaugurated on January 20.
Updated on January 7 to reflect the change in Trump’s Facebook suspension.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Hill: Twitter and Facebook slap Trump with temporary suspensions
The Washington Post: Trump banned from Facebook indefinitely, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says; by Tony Romm and Elizabeth Dwoskin
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Esther Vargas’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License