Henceforth, Facebook has announced it has blocked President Donald Trump on its platforms, including Instagram, indefinitely or at best until the end of his term in two weeks time.
This followed violent protests by his supporters at the Capitol Hill on Wednesday, January 6 that resulted in the death of four persons while many were injured.
Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on Thursday, January 7, that he gave the order after seeing that Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to ferment violence.
Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page that the ban, which was announced Wednesday for 24 hours, was extended because of Trump’s “use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”
He wrote: “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.
According to him, ‘’We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect — and likely their intent — would be to provoke further violence.
He wrote “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.
Mr. Zuckerberg said “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.”
Facebook had previously said it would suspend Mr. Trump’s account for 24 hours after several of Trump’s posts on Wednesday appeared to stoke the violence in the Capitol.
Trump was also suspended from Twitter, which locked his account for 12 hours and required him to delete three tweets that the company said could incite violence in order to regain access.
The unprecedented decisions from Twitter and Facebook come after the social media companies have for years allowed Trump to violate their policies.
Recently, Twitter and Facebook had begun to push back on the president’s posts, adding fact-checking labels to some of his statements.
Trump has more than 88 million followers on Twitter and 35 million followers on Facebook.