Following the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump insurrectionists, several social media platforms have restricted the president’s accounts or banned them entirely. The most impactful decision came from Twitter executives on Jan. 8, who permanently banned Donald Trump’s account after years of allowing the platform to serve as the president’s primary megaphone. “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” reads the social media giant’s announcement.
The decision came following the siege on the Capitol in Washington, D.C., which was directly incited by a speech given by President Trump that same morning. When Trump supporters gathered at the National Mall for a “Save America” rally, the president addressed the crowd by saying, “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong… I know everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building. To peacefully, patriotically make your voices heard.” (via The Guardian). However, the riot was anything but peaceful and the subsequent violence and destruction — which led to the deaths of five people — sparked countless social media brands to take a stand against the attempted coup.
Several platforms have cracked down on Donald Trump
As a result of the violence that directly resulted from President Donald Trump’s rhetoric, several social media companies have begun to crack down on his accounts. On Thursday morning, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts would be locked until at least Inauguration Day (which is on Jan. 20, 2021). “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” the announcement reads. “Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
The president’s official YouTube channel remains active, but the platform did remove a video in which he praised the rioters (via The New York Times). On Jan. 7, YouTube shared a tweet, stating: “Due to the disturbing events that transpired yesterday, and given that the election results have now been certified, starting today *any* channels posting new videos with false claims in violation of our policies will now receive a strike.”
Trump’s Snapchat account has also been disabled indefinitely. Axios reported that Snapchat spokesperson Rachel Racusen told the outlet: “We can confirm that earlier today we locked President Trump’s Snapchat account.” Currently, the President’s social media usage is severely restricted, and it’s not totally clear when, if ever, he will regain full access to his Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat accounts.
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