In a blog post Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would ban President Donald Trump from its platforms “indefinitely” following a pro-Trump attack on the US Capitol this week. The ban will not be lifted before Inauguration Day, according to 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,” said Zuckerberg. “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.”
Facebook’s decision to ban Trump is an unprecedented escalation in the platform’s approach to moderating the president’s posts. As rioters stormed the Capitol Wednesday, Facebook removed a video from Trump responding to the violence. In it, Trump made false claims about the 2020 election results, and told rioters to “go home” hours after the initial invasion began. Facebook cycled through three different labels on the video before the platform decided to remove it outright around an hour after it was posted.
In a statement Wednesday, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, declared the Capitol riot as “an emergency situation.” He continued, “We removed [Trump’s video] because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”
Twitter locked Trump’s account Wednesday evening, but has not issued any longterm ban on the outgoing president. In a tweet thread Wednesday, Twitter announced the block as a response to three tweets that violated its policies. Once Trump removed those tweets, the 12 hour lockout period began.
“Future violations of the Twitter Rules… will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account,” said Twitter’s policy account after putting the block in place.