Facebook, Instagram, Twitter sanction Trump for inciting violence in Washington

FACEBOOK, Instagram and Twitter have suspended Donald Trump’s accounts for inciting violence in Washington D.C. on Wednesday—the day the Congress was to certify Joe Biden as president.

The outgoing U.S. president was, on Thursday, banned from using both Facebook and Instagram indefinitely, according to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, in an issued statement.

Trump’s Twitter account had earlier been banned by Twitter on Wednesday  for 12 hours starting at 7pm ET, but the account was still suspended 19 hours after when The ICIR checked.

According to Zuckerberg, the decision was to prevent Trump from using his accounts from undermining the ongoing peaceful transition of power to Joe Biden, US president-elect.

Since he lost the November presidential election to Biden, Trump has consistently used all of his social media platforms to instigate violence and to discredit the outcome of the election.

Read also: Donald Trump indicted for hush money payment to porn star

On Wednesday, hundreds of Trump’s supporters besieged the Capitol Hill to prevent the Congress from certifying the electoral victory of Biden held in November 2020.

The ensuing violence following the invasion, which has been widely condemned across the globe, led to the death of four persons with several others injured.

“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 said.

“Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labelling 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.

“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.”

Zuckerberg noted with concern that Trump’s decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building had rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world.

While calling on the entire nation to ensure that the transitional process goes smoothly, he said that Facebook removed Trump’s “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.”

    Similarly, Twitter punished Trump on Wednesday over a series of tweets that sought to cast doubt over the 2020 presidential race. One included a video in which Trump spread disinformation about the election’s outcome, even as he told rioters to leave the House and Senate at a time when lawmakers had started the certification of the election.

    Twitter required Trump to delete the tweets to obtain access to his account, but it made clear it of plans to escalate its enforcement efforts and suspend the president permanently if he continues to break its rules.

    Similarly, YouTube removed videos where Trump was making the inciteful comments on Wednesday’s evening.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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