Several social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, and Snap Inc banned Trump following the attack on the US Capitol on Wednesday. Twitter lifts the ban after 12 hours. Facebook decided to extend it indefinitely.
ASHITHA S PRASAD
After being blocked from the platform for 12 hours, US President Donald Trump returned to Twitter on Thursday with a video acknowledging that Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States and condemning the US Capitol attack. In his first tweet since his 12-hour ban from the platform for three rule-breaking tweets. Trump said he was outraged by the “violence, lawlessness, and mayhem” at the US Capitol. He further added that now he must now ensure a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power.
The tweet reflects a very different tone as opposed to his tweets on Wednesday. Yesterday, Trump’s address and tweets appeared to encourage and enthuse rioters after he told them they were “special” and “we love you,” while also telling them that the presidential election was “fraudulent” and “stolen.” Trump’s critics among the twitterati seemed to take the new tone with a pinch of salt.
Twitter has warned that it would ban Trump permanently if he breached the platform’s rules again.
However, Facebook has decided to extend the 24-hour block to an indefinite period. Facebook and Instagram blocked Trump for at least two weeks and perhaps even indefinitely. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated in a post on Thursday that the risks of letting Trump use the platform were “simply too great.” He said: “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.”
Zuckerberg added that over the years Trump had been allowed to use the platform consistent with its rules and at times removed his posts when it violated the policies but never blocked his account because the company believes that the public has the right to the access to political speech, even controversial speech.
This is not the first time where Trump is said to have instigated mobs by spreading inflammatory statements or falsehoods and misinformation. Twitter and Facebook have taken down Trump’s posts on previous occasions, but they have specific rules against fueling violence and fake news on their platforms, but have not previously suspended or banned Trump despite heavy criticism.
In August, Facebook and Twitter took down Trump’s posts that spread misinformation on coronavirus where he stated children are almost immune to the virus and where he compared the virus to common flu. Facebook removed Trump campaign ads in March for violating its policy against misleading reference to the US census.
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