Updated: Jan 9
The president has been suspended from all major social platforms and permanently suspended from Twitter
It seems Trump's social media antics have finally gone far enough for even Mark Zuckerberg's tastes. The Facebook founder has often been criticised for allowing the current (soon to be former) president, to use the platform to incite hate speech and violence. But now that has changed with the platform suspending the president's account with immediate effect.
What prompted Facebook to shut down Trump?
Following the riots in Capitol Hill, where Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol Donald Trump posted a video on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In the video Trump shared a speech in which he said to the rioters, "I love you" and repeated claims about the election being fraudulent, he then asked them to go home.
This video is what has caused many social platforms to take action against the president, including Facebook who have been criticised for their lenience when it came to Trump's rhetoric on the platform.
Zuckerberg himself spoke out about the decision in a statement he posted on Facebook, "His [Trump's] 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."
What other platforms have suspended Trump?
All the major social networks took some form of action against the president's accounts as a consequence.
Instagram which is owned by Facebook pursued similar measures. After Facebook's announcement, Adam Mosseri head of Instagram wrote, "We are locking President Trump’s Instagram account for 24 hours as well."
Twitter, which has proved to be the president's favourite communication tool, suspended Trump's account for 12 hours citing "severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy".
The company clarified its position stating, "Future violations of the Twitter Rules... will result in permanent suspension of the @RealDonaldTrump account"... This 12 hour ban has now expired, and he has returned to platform with a new video condemning violence in the capitol, in an apparent U-turn on his previous stance.
Update: 01:08 - 9/1/2021
Donald Trump's account has now been officially deleted by Twitter.
In a statement from Twitter they said "After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence... In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action."
The actions from the key social networks don't stop there. Snapchat has stopped Trump from creating any new posts, but the platform did not state how long this will last.
YouTube has removed the aforementioned video from its platform, saying it had done so because it "violated policies on spreading election fraud".
Many have taken issue with how the president described the pro-Trump supporters, who were there to protest the results of the election, in the video he refereed to the people who stormed the Capitol complex as "patriots".
Even e-commerce platform Shopify has taken action against the president. The Canadian shopping software provider suspended stores run by the Trump organisation, saying that Shopify's rules prohibited retailers from supporting those who promoted violence. In a statement made to the Wall Street Journal they said, "As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump."
It is unclear how long Facebook and Instagram will keep its ban on Trump but it is believed to be until at least the end of his term as president.
You know what they say... Better late than never.
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