All it took for Twitter and Facebook to temporarily bar US President Donald Trump from addressing his audience was a violent insurrection at the US Capitol, fuelled by years of false statements.
On Wednesday, the two companies temporarily suspended Trump from posting on their platforms after a mob of his supporters stormed the Congress.
It was the most aggressive action either company has yet taken against the outgoing US president. Twitter locked Trump out of his account for 12 hours and said that future violations could result in a permanent suspension. The company required the removal of three of Trump’s tweets, including a short video in which he urged those supporters to “go home” while also repeating falsehoods about the integrity of the election. Trump’s account has deleted those posts.
Facebook and Instagram will extend a ban on Trump’s accounts, chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg said, saying risk of his posts is “too great”. Zuckerberg said the ban will last “for at least the next two weeks” but could remain locked indefinitely.