Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday morning that the tech conglomerate will ban President Donald Trump from making posts on Facebook and Instagram until his term ends on Jan. 20.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg wrote.
The decision came after Trump continued to incite his supporters who had participated in a mob attack at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. He released a video telling agitators to “go home now,” but also repeated lies that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him. He also professed his love for violent agitators who stormed the building and called them “very special.”
“[Trump’s] 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,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect – and likely their intent – would be to provoke further violence.”
Although social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have given Trump latitude in what he has posted since taking office, Zuckerberg said Trump’s message yesterday was “fundamentally different” because it used the platform “to incite [a] violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”
Trump was also blocked from posting on Twitter for 12 hours yesterday. Early Thursday, he released a statement through his communication adviser Dan Scavino’s Twitter account stating that there would be an “orderly transition on January 20th.”
That hasn’t stopped calls from people who have noted that the damage to democracy has already been done. Many Democrats are now demanding that the President resign before his term is up on Jan. 20, or that the 25th Amendment be invoked to have him removed. Others are pushing for Congress to impeach Trump for a second time. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar tweeted yesterday that she was currently working on drafting up Articles of Impeachment.
Update, Jan. 8 at 6:45 pm ET: Twitter has permanently suspended the @realDonaldTrump account as well, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”