Facebook is extending its ban on U.S. President Donald Trump’s account “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks.”
Following the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, the social media giant banned Trump from its platforms for 24 hours but has now decided to extend the measure until the “peaceful transition of power is complete.”
“We believe the risks of allowing President Trump to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.
Zuckerberg states that over the last several years, the company has allowed Trump to use its platform in accordance with its rules and at times removed some of the content when it breached its policies. However, he says the current context is now fundamentally different as the platform is being used to incite violent insurrection.
“The priority for the whole country must now be to ensure that the remaining 13 days and the days after [Joe Biden’s] inauguration pass peacefully and in accordance with established democratic norms,” the statement reads.
Facebook is the first social media platform to extend its temporary ban on Trump’s account. He was temporarily banned from Twitter and Snapchat, and it’s unclear if these platforms will follow Facebook and extend their measures.
Social media giants are attempting to contain the spread of Trump’s messaging amid the ongoing unrest and are imposing restrictions. YouTube, Twitter and Facebook removed a video posted by Trump in which he spread misinformation about election results and told the rioters: “we love you. You’re very special.”
These actions follow increased criticism of social media giants for their role in the spread of propaganda, hate speech and misinformation.
As Facebook has taken this unprecedented step, it’ll be interesting to see if other companies will follow and if it will take such action again, perhaps in other countries around the world as well.
Source: Mark Zuckerberg
Update 08/01/2021 at 7:00pm ET — Twitter has “permanently suspended” Trump’s account.