Can't connect right now! retry
world
Thursday Jan 07 2021
By
AFP

Facebook blocks Donald Trump for at least final two weeks of presidency, saying risks are ‘too great’

By
AFP
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg (right) and US President Donald Trump. — Reuters/File
  • Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine peaceful, lawful transition of power, says Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
  • We believe risks of allowing Trump to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great, says Zuckerberg
  • Trump and his allies for months have amplified baseless claims of election fraud and told protesters to go to Capitol Hill


Facebook said it would block US President Donald Trump’s accounts “indefinitely” and for at least the next two weeks until the presidential transition is completed. 

The decision by Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg comes after Facebook announced on Wednesday it would lock Trump’s account for 24 hours as tech giants scrambled to crack down on his baseless claims about the US presidential election and hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol.

"We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great," Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post on Thursday. He said the block would also apply to Facebook-owned Instagram.

Read more: Chaos in Washington as Trump supporters storm US Capitol

Twitter and Snapchat also temporarily locked Trump’s accounts on Wednesday. Civil rights groups including the Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change have called for social media companies to suspend Trump’s accounts permanently.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Social media companies have been under pressure to police misinformation about the US election on their platforms, including from the president.

Read more: Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer says Donald Trump must be removed from office

Trump and his allies for months have amplified baseless claims of election fraud and the president told protesters to go to Capitol Hill, with both Republicans and Democrats saying he was responsible for the resulting violence.

In a video posted to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube on Wednesday, which was later deleted by the platforms, Trump repeated election fraud claims as he told protesters to go home.

“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,” said Zuckerberg in his Thursday post.

Watch: 'Siege of the Capitol' TikTok video goes viral on social media

The Anti-Defamation League praised Facebook’s move, calling it “an obvious first step,” while the NAACP in a statement said the move was a “long overdue” gesture that “rings hollow.”

Facebook has previously been blasted by lawmakers and employees for not acting on inflammatory posts from Trump, including those that have been labeled by Twitter.