Following yesterday’s events on Capitol Hill, during which a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol Building, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that President Trump has been banned from both Facebook and Instagram indefinitely. While there’s no indication of when Trump’s accounts may be reinstated – if they are at all – Zuckerberg has said that he will remain blocked on both platforms at least through the end of his term on January 20th.
“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,” Zuckerberg wrote in a lengthy statement to his Facebook page. “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.”
Zuckerberg then notes that following yesterday’s 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 the inauguration pass peacefully and in accordance with established democratic norms.” He also points out that while Facebook has allowed Trump to use both platforms over the past several years because Facebook believes “that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech,” the “current context is now fundamentally different,” as it involves Trump using both Facebook and Instagram to “incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”
Zuckerberg ends his statement by saying, “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.”
In the past 24 hours, we’ve seen various social media networks take action against President Trump. Facebook, as Zuckerberg indicated, removed posts from Trump yesterday as the mob was in the process of storming the Capitol Building. Twitter did the same thing, removing several posts before ultimately implementing a 12 hour ban on Trump’s account. At the time, Twitter said that if Trump did not delete the offending posts, his account will remain locked.
With Facebook and Twitter already banning Trump, he’s is likely to find himself removed from other platforms as well. We’ll see what happens from here, but at this point, it’s possible that Trump won’t be allowed back on Facebook even after Biden is sworn in as President of the United States on January 20th. Stay tuned.