(WTAJ) — President Donald Trump, facing a 12-hour ban from Twitter and a 24-hour ban from Facebook, is now being removed from Facebook and Instagram until he leaves the white house, at the earliest.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to his Facebook page to announce the ban, stating that his use of the platforms would be used to “provoke further violence” after the events at the Capitol building in D.C. on Wednesday.
“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.”
On Wednesday, both Facebook and Twitter announced they suspended Trump from posting to their platforms after a mob of his supporters stormed the house of Congress. It was the most aggressive action either company has yet taken against Trump, who more than a decade ago embraced the immediacy and scale of Twitter to rally loyalists, castigate enemies and spread false rumors.
Twitter locked Trump out of his account for 12 hours and said that future violations could result in a permanent suspension. The company required the removal of three of Trump’s tweets, including a short video in which he urged those supporters to “go home” while also repeating falsehoods about the integrity of the presidential election. Trump’s account deleted those posts, Twitter said; had they remained, Twitter had threatened to extend his suspension.
Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook owns, followed up in the evening, announcing that Trump wouldn’t be able to post for 24 hours following two violations of its policies.
On Thursday, Facebook updated the suspension to “indefinite.”
While some cheered the platforms’ actions, experts noted that the companies’ actions follow years of hemming and hawing on Trump and his supporters spreading dangerous misinformation and encouraging violence that have contributed to Wednesday’s violence.
Jennifer Grygiel, a Syracuse University communications professor and an expert on social media, said Wednesday’s events in Washington, D.C. are a direct result of Trump’s use of social media to spread propaganda and disinformation, and that the platforms should bear some responsibility for their inaction.
“This is what happens,” Grygiel said. “We didn’t just see a breach at the Capitol. Social media platforms have been breached by the president repeatedly. This is disinformation. This was a coup attempt in the United States.”
Grygiel said the platform’s decision to remove the video — and Twitter’s suspension — are too little, too late.