Facebook blocks Trump ‘until he hands over power’.
Outgoing US President Donald Trump has been suspended from Facebook and Instagram until the end of his time in office at the very least, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has announced.
In a statement confirming these bans, Zuckerberg accused Trump of using these social media platforms to undermine the peaceful transition of power.
Trump who lost to Joe Biden in the country’s elections last November, is expected to formally hand over power on January 12.
The announcement also comes days pro-Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building in Washington DC.
The riot interrupted a joint congress session meant to confirm Biden’s election victory.
“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, via a Facebook post.
Adding, “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our services 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.”
Zuckerberg admitted that over the years, the social media sites had allowed the outgoing president to use the platform to issue controversial speech
He however defended the company saying it was in the public’s interest to see what world leaders posted.
“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 the use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government,”
Over the past year, Facebook and Twitter had started taking some steps to label Mr. Trump’s posts as inaccurate and to direct users to reliable information.
Twitter which had locked Trump’s account on Wednesday for posts that violated its rules, lifted the suspension, allowing the president to tweet again.