- 07 Jan 21
Following the insurrection and violence at the Washington Capitol buildings yesterday, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has issued as statement on his decision to ban Donald Trump from the social media platform indefinitely.
Donald Trump has been indefinitely suspended from Facebook and Instagram. The decision from the social media company comes after a domestic terror attack on the US Capitol by a group of pro-Trump rioters on January 6th, 2021. The attack happened while members of Congress met to confirm that Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris are the democratically elected next President and Vice President of the United States of America.
Donald Trump, the current US president, was initially suspended from Facebook for only 24 hours, after two posts shared to the platform in which he appeared to praise the actions of the rioters who stormed the Capitol.
A 12-hour ban from Twitter was also instated, but ended at 7am ET this morning (12pm GMT). Trump did not immediately return to the social network. A few hours earlier, Trump's deputy chief of staff, Dan Scavino, had shared on his behalf a short statement assuring there would be an “orderly transition” of power. Despite this message, he maintained that he “totally disagrees with the outcome of the election”.
The initial suspensions are the first the president had faced in his four-year term of office, and have been criticised by many for being too relaxed, considering the harm done by his social media posts throughout his term and in the last 24 hours.
"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," said Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg in a post earlier today (January 7th).
"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," he continued. "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."
Read the full post below.
The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining...
“A lot of people will be deeply cynical about the decision, which Facebook have announced,” Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said, “and for very good reason. Social media has facilitated Donald Trump in spewing lies and hatred in equal measure for four years, while he was President of the United States – and the dominant platforms thought nothing of it. Instead, they were more than happy to profit from the increased attention his toxic outpourings attracted. Now, they are taking action, when they know that he is yesterday’s man. They enabled him to throw kerosene on the fire again and again – and are calling a halt now that the blaze has started. It is an exercise in hypocrisy and nothing more.
“What it does make clear is that all forms of social media must now be regulated in a meaningful and effective way. The time for equivocation is over. They have hidden for years behind the idea that they are not publishers, and that they do not have an editorial function. That has always been a big lie. They are publishers. And this decision by Mark Zuckerberg – while it may happen to be the right one – is the definition of taking an editorial stance. In fact, Facebook and other social media platforms are making these kind of editorial decisions all the time. And so they should be made directly answerable legally for the content that they publish, no matter who it is written by, or posted by, in the same way as RTÉ, the Irish Independent and Hot Press are."
Elsewhere, celebrities, Congresspeople and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have all called for the immediate removal of President Trump, arguing that there is sufficient cause to invoke the 25th amendment and that Trump should not hold office for the next 13 days, thereby completing his term. Should President Trump be impeached, it would prevent him from running for office in the future.