Twitter and Facebook have taken the unprecedented move of locking outgoing US President Donald Trump’s accounts on the platforms.
The temporary lockouts follow a riot in the US that saw Trump supporters storm the US Capitol on Wednesday, 6 January.
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The armed crowd stormed the US government building following repeated claims by Trump that the presidential election was stolen from him.
On social media, he shared a video and posts reiterating these claims. Trump even expressed support for the mob, but told them to go home.
“Trump told the mob to ‘go home,’ but added, ‘We love you. You are very special.’,” CNN reports. The video has since been deleted.
Twitter removed another tweet that said: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
Twitter, Facebook take action against Trump
While both social networks have been criticised for leniency towards the US President’s posts in the past, both have announced that they have locked the president out of his accounts.
Facebook shared the update on its Newsroom Twitter account, as well its Newsroom website.
We've assessed two policy violations against President Trump's Page which will result in a 24-hour feature block, meaning he will lose the ability to post on the platform during that time.
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) January 7, 2021
“We removed from Facebook and Instagram the recent video of President Trump speaking about the protests and his subsequent post about the election results,” Facebook said.
“We made the decision that on balance these posts contribute to, rather than diminish, the risk of ongoing violence.”
Meanwhile, Twitter shared a thread regarding its action on the Twitter Support account.
Twitter noted that it had removed multiple tweets from the president. It cited the company’s Civic Integrity policy.
It added that it had locked the account for 12 hours.
This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 7, 2021
Twitter also said that if the future tweets broke the Civic Integrity or Violent threats policy, Trump would face a permanent ban.
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