Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday morning that President Trump will be banned from posting to his Facebook and Instagram accounts through at least the end of his term.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “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.”
Social media companies took unprecedented action against Trump on Wednesday as his supporters rioted in the Capitol. Twitter moved first, freezing three of Trump’s tweets about the riots, then demanding their removal and locking his account for 24 hours over “repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy.” Facebook, which also owns Instagram, followed a few hours later, locking Trump’s accounts on those platforms for 24 hours. Snapchat has temporarily blocked Trump from posting as well.
The social media companies’ moves come after years of complaints that Trump faced little or no consequences for regularly violating their user policies.
Here’s Zuckerberg’s statement in full:
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.
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.
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.
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.