Facebook announced on Thursday in a post by founder Mark Zuckerberg that Donald Trump would be banned "indefinitely" from its platforms following the rioting at the U.S. Capitol the president incited on Wednesday.
"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. "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."
Facebook previously locked the president's account and banned him for only 24 hours because it had "assessed two policy violations against President Trump's Page."
One of the posts that was removed and violated Facebook's policy was Trump's video addressing the riots and those who had broken into the U.S. Capitol building, wreaking havoc and violence. In the recorded speech, Trump told his supporters, "we love you, you're very special," and doubled down on the baseless claims of election fraud before telling rioters occupying the Capitol building, "we have to have peace, so go home."
Continuing his Thursday post, Zuckerberg wrote, "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."
"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 use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government."
He concluded his statement, "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."
On Wednesday, thousands of Trump supporters had gathered to show their support for the president amid his unfounded and increasingly incendiary claims of election fraud following his November loss to Joe Biden. The large mob of rioters in Washington, D.C. entered the Senate chamber and numerous Congressional offices in a chaotic scene during which one woman was fatally shot.
The Trump supporters breached the building while lawmakers gathered to count the Electoral College votes certifying President-elect Biden's win.
The president's claims and messages have been banned or removed by Facebook before, including an August video about coronavirus. The post, which was shared by Team Trump, featured a video of the president spreading misinformation about COVID-19 in an interview on Fox News.
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