Facebook and Instagram have blocked US President Donald Trump’s account for 24 hours and Twitter has imposed a 12-hour block. The services did so after inflammatory reports from Trump. Twitter is considering a permanent ban.
Trump’s accounts were blocked just hours after the president posted a video message of about a minute in response to the storming of the Capitol. In the video, he called on his supporters to return home, but he also repeated several times the claims that the election was stolen and that he himself won convincingly. The platforms also removed that video. Trump also posted various messages that would have incited violence.
Twitter imposed a ban of 12 hours at 1 am Dutch time and demanded the removal of three messages from the incumbent president. If Trump doesn’t, his account will be closed. Those messages are no longer visible, it says they are ‘not available’ because they were in violation of Twitter rules.
Future violations of the Twitter rules will result in a permanent ban on the @realDonaldTrump account, the Twitter Safety team said. Twitter has previously restricted messages from Trump, for example by posting warnings or disabling comments, but it is the first time that messages have been deleted and the account has been locked. Earlier, Twitter gave Trump more freedom. In 2017, the Trump service decided to abandon retweets of hate videos because of legitimate public interest.
Facebook decided at 2:36 a.m. Dutch time on Wednesday to block Trump’s accounts for 24 hours. The same goes for Trump’s Instagram account. According to Facebook , the president is temporarily banned because of two messages that ‘on balance’ increase the risk of more violence, instead of reducing it.
The video message Trump posted was removed by Facebook fairly soon after publication. Initially, the message came with warnings and the caption that Biden has officially won the presidential election.
Whether Facebook is also considering a permanent blockade of Trump accounts is not known. The platform writes to ‘keep an eye on the situation and take additional measures if necessary to keep people safe’.