The platform said Thursday (Friday morning, NZT) that Facebook will prevent US President Donald Trump from posting to his system at least until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
In a post announcing the unprecedented move, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the risk of Trump being allowed to use the platform was too great after the president instigated a crowd that caused deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday (local time).
Zuckerberg says Trump’s account will be closed for “at least the next two weeks,” but could remain closed indefinitely.
“The horrific events of the past 24 hours clearly show that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and legitimate transfer of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Zuckerberg wrote.
* The Republican congressman calls for Trump’s impeachment, as his aides consider taking advantage of the 25th Amendment
* Biden confirms election victory, Trump calls for ‘orderly transition’
* The ties that united Americans have strained to breaking point
* A Republican state delegate was broadcast live from the crowd as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol.
Trump has repeatedly used the power of social media to spread lies about election integrity and the results of the presidential race. Platforms like Facebook have sometimes named or even removed some of their posts, but the overall response has failed to satisfy a growing number of critics who say the platforms have enabled the spread of dangerous disinformation.
In light of Wednesday’s riots, Zuckerberg said a more aggressive approach was needed.
“The current context is now fundamentally different, as it includes using our program to incite violent rebellion against a democratically elected government,” he wrote.
Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday also temporarily shut down the accounts of President Donald Trump after repeatedly posting false accusations about the integrity of the election. Twitter said Thursday it had no news to report further actions on Trump’s account.
The message that was left with the White House Thursday morning was not returned immediately.