Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

By Barbara Oar and David Klipp, Associated Press

After years of provocative rhetoric with a mild touch of President Donald Trump, Facebook and Instagram are silencing their social media accounts for the rest of the presidency. Following Wednesday’s underwriting at the US Capitol, which many call justified, it is a reminder of the immense power that social-media platforms can exercise when selected.

Facebook and Instagram said on Thursday that they would block Trump from posting at least until President-Elect Joe Biden was inaugurated.

In a post announcing the unprecedented move, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the risk of allowing Trump to use the platform is great after the president incited a mob that touched off Wednesday’s deadly riots in the Capitol Was. Zuckerberg says Trump’s account will be closed “for at least the next two weeks”, but may be closed indefinitely.

Zuckerberg wrote, “The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use the rest of his time to undermine the peaceful and legitimate transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden. “

Trump has reiterated the power of social media to spread lies about electoral integrity and presidential results. Platforms such as Facebook have sometimes labeled or deleted some of her posts, but the overall response has failed to satisfy the growing number of critics who say the platform has enabled the dissemination of dangerous misinformation.

In light of Wednesday’s riots, Zuckerberg said a more aggressive approach was needed.

“The current context is now fundamentally different, including the use of our platform to incite violent rebellion against a democratically elected government,” he wrote.

Instagram head Adam Moseri tweeted on Thursday that Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, will block Trump’s ability on his platform “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks”.

Twitter closed President Donald Trump’s accounts for 12 hours after repeatedly making false allegations about the integrity of the election. That suspension was scheduled to expire on Thursday for some time; The president did not resume the tweet until Thursday morning.

A company spokesperson said that the company may take further action.

“We are evaluating the situation in real-time, including investigating activity on the ground and statements on Twitter,” the spokesperson said. We will keep the public informed, including that further enhancements to our enforcement approach are necessary. “

Meanwhile, the platforms continued to face criticism from users who blamed them, for creating an online environment that sparked Wednesday’s violence.

Singer and actress Selena Gomez wrote to her 64 million followers, “Today with hate in people’s hearts is the result of allowing people to use the platforms that should be used to bring people together.” And I hope you are going to fix things going forward. “

Johns Hopkins Cybernflick scholar Thomas Ridd tweeted “kudos and respect” to Zuckerberg and Facebook shortly after the announcement that Trump’s account would be locked up for two weeks.

“Clearly the right move,” Ridd said. “Constant incitement to political violence is not acceptable. Twitter should do the same. “

A message left near the White House on Thursday morning did not immediately return.

The temporary block that Twitter and Facebook enacted on Wednesday was the most aggressive action ever taken against Trump, who more than a decade ago adopted Twitter’s loyalty and scale to loyalties, incite enemies and spread false rumors Was.

Twitter locked Trump out of his account for 12 hours, saying that future violations could result in a permanent suspension. The company was required to delete three of Trump’s tweets, including a short video in which he urged those supporters to “go home”, as well as repeat lies about the integrity of the presidential election. Trump’s account deleted those posts, Twitter said; He remained, with Twitter threatening to extend his suspension.

While some applauded the actions of the platforms, experts said the companies’ action follows years of hemming and hawking at Trump and his supporters, who spread dangerous misinformation and encourage violence that sparked Wednesday’s violence Has contributed to

More than two hours after Trump entered the Capitol, the video was posted, disrupting the meeting of lawmakers in an extraordinary joint session to confirm the results of Electoral College and the victory of President-Elect Joe Biden.

So far, YouTube has not taken similar action to muzzle Trump, although it said it also removed Trump’s video. But that video remained available until Wednesday afternoon.

Twitter initially dropped the video but stopped people from being able to retweet it or comment on it. Only later in the day did the platform completely remove it.

Trump opened his video saying, “I know your pain. I know your hurt But you have to go home now. “

After repeating false claims about voter fraud affecting the election, Trump said: “We cannot play in the hands of these people. We have to keep peace. So go home. We love you You are very special “

Republican lawmakers and previous administration officials begged Trump to make statements to his supporters to stop the violence. He posted his video when officials struggled to gain control of the chaotic situation in the Capitol, which led to the evacuation of MPs and the death of at least one person.

In a statement on Thursday morning, Trump said that on January 20, “there will be an orderly transition” and for the first time accepted defeat in the election. His colleagues posted statements on Twitter as his account remained suspended.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This content may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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