President Donald Trump will be blocked from using Facebook and Instagram “indefinitely” — and at least until the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden is complete — the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday, after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
“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 said in a Facebook post.
The company will keep the block in place on both of Trump’s accounts “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the transition of power is complete.”
Violence erupted in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday during a protest against the certification of Electoral College votes that would cement President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Rioters supporting Trump stormed the Capitol building during the count, postponing certification and forcing evacuation. Four people reportedly died during the riots, including one woman who was fatally shot by law enforcement.
Zuckerberg said Trump was permitted to use Facebook’s platform for “the last several years” because his company supports the public’s access to political speech, with some content removal and labeling when Trump violated policies, but said the circumstances have changed.
“But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”
Following the mob violence, Trump posted a video address on social media, which Facebook and Twitter said they removed because of concerns that it would only provoke, rather than diminish, violence. YouTube also pulled the video, citing violations of its policies against allegations of “widespread fraud or errors” that changed the election outcome. (RELATED: Facebook, Twitter Remove Trump Video Address Out Of Concerns It Would Incite Violence)
Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Electoral Certification:
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our…
— Dan Scavino???????????? (@DanScavino) January 7, 2021
After Wednesday’s riots, Trump promised an “orderly transition” of power while still suggesting there was election fraud, relaying the message through deputy chief of staff for communications Dan Scavino. “While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”