President Donald Trump will be blocked from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for at least the next two weeks, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday morning, citing the president’s “decision to use his platforms to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters” when they stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post that Trump will be blocked from the social media platforms “until the peaceful transition of power is complete,” and will be completely banned for at least two weeks.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” wrote Zuckerberg, who accused Trump of using the platform to “incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”
Both Facebook and Twitter moved to lock Trump’s account for 24 hours and remove posts addressing the riots on Wednesday.
When issuing its suspension, Twitter warned that future violations of its rules “will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”
In response to questions about whether Trump will be banned from Twitter too, a company spokesperson said the platform is “continuing to evaluate the situation in real-time, including examining activity on the ground and statements made off Twitter” and is will engage in “further escalation” if necessary.
“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,” wrote Zuckerberg. “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.”
As a mob of his supporters overwhelmed law enforcement and stormed the Capitol building, where Congress was meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win, Trump offered only tepid statements encouraging peaceful protests instead of violence. Several hours into the occupation, the president released a minute-long video message in which he told his supporters that he “understood” their pain and why they were fighting against what he maintained was a rigged election but finally advised them to go home.
“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt, we had an election that was stolen from us,” said Trump in the video message posted to social media. “Go home, we love you, you’re very special.”