donald trump

Trump blocked by Facebook and Instagram after US Capitol protests

Image credit: reuters

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the company will extend a ban on US President Donald Trump’s accounts on both Facebook and subsidiary company Instagram for at least the next two weeks and potentially after he leaves office.

Trump's accounts were temporarily locked yesterday due to fears that his lies about widespread election fraud being committed during the US election in November could incite further violence.

Yesterday afternoon, a faction of his more extreme supporters stormed the US Capitol in a bid to halt the confirmation of President-Elect Joe Biden. Thousands attended the protest and four people were killed, including one woman who was shot inside the Capitol building.

The protestors were able to overwhelm the security in place at the Capitol building and infiltrate the inner chamber where Biden’s confirmation hearing was taking place.

In a Facebook blog post today (Thursday 7 January), reflecting on the events that had shocked the world, Zuckerberg said: “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.

“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.

“His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world.

“We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect - and likely their intent - would be to provoke further violence.”

In a video comment posted to his Twitter account yesterday, Trump told his rioting supporters: “You have to go home now, we have to have peace,” before adding: “We love you. You’re very special.”

Priti Patel, the UK's home secretary, said that Trump's statement to the rioters, in which he repeated his baseless claims of electoral fraud, did “very little to de-escalate the situation. His comments directly led to the violence and so far he has failed to condemn that violence and that is completely wrong.”

Conservative MP Simon Hoare suggested Donald Trump could be sent to Guantanamo Bay after last night’s events. Hoare tweeted: “I think @realDonaldTrump had a chant for it a few years ago. After yesterday let the call of the American Nation be: LOCK HIM UP! LOCK HIM UP!

“He has incited insurrection. Not sure there’s a golf course at Guantanamo, but that’s where he should be headed.”

Former UK prime minister Theresa May tweeted: “After yesterday’s disturbing scenes at the Capitol, I welcome that Congress has certified @JoeBiden as the next President. The orderly transition of power is a hallmark of a mature democracy. There is no place for the rule of the mob.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said US president Donald Trump should have made clear that there would be an orderly transition of power “a long time ago”.

Speaking to broadcasters he said: “President Trump has to take responsibility. What happened was appalling - it wasn’t protest, it was an attack on democracy - and responsibility lies with President Trump, there is no doubt about that.

“Of course we all want an orderly transition. He should have said it a long time ago and so let’s have that orderly transition, let’s see President Trump take responsibility for his actions.

“Often what he says isn’t matched by what he does, so the sooner we get that orderly transition the better.”

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