Donald Trump: Facebook and Instagram CEO Mark Zuckerberg bans US President from the social media sites
Donald Trump has been banned indefinitely from Facebook and Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg has announced, as he accused the US President of using the platforms to “incite violent insurrection”.
In a lengthy statement posted on both social media sites, the Facebook CEO said he and his staff believed the risks associated with allowing him to continue using their services was “simply too great”.
It comes less than 24 hours after violent Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington D.C. during a joint session of Congress - forcing Senators and US Representatives to be evacuated for their safety.
The Congress had met to certify President-Elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory in the November 2020 election.
Hours before, President Trump had addressed a crowd of thousands of his supporters outside the White House, refusing to concede defeat and repeated unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.
“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,” Mr Zuckerberg wrote.
“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,” he finished.
It follows a similar move by the social media site Twitter, which removed several of Mr Trump’s tweets yesterday evening, and temporarily barred him from posting others.
Last night, President-Elect Biden called the riot “an assault on the Citadel of Liberty” and called on President Trump to “step up”.
“The scenes of chaos of the Capitol, do not reflect a true America; do not represent who we are,” Mr Biden told the assembled press at the Queen’s Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware.
“What we're seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness.
“This is not dissent. This is disorder.”
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