WASHINGTON: Social media giants Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday have blocked US President Donald Trump from posting on their platforms as rioters attacked the US Capitol and violent protests broke out in Washington DC.
While Twitter said Trump’s account will be locked until he deletes three tweets. Facebook and Instagram said Trump won’t be able to post for 24 hours.
Facebook also removed posts, including a video that Trump posted on the platform in support of the mob descending on the US Capitol.
“This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence,” Guy Rosen, Facebook vice president of integrity said in a tweet.
A statement put out by Facebook read: “We’ve assessed two policy violations against President Trump’s Page which will result in a 24-hour feature block, meaning he will lose the ability to post on the platform during that time.”.
Trump’s account on Facebook-owned Instagram will also be locked for 24 hours, Instagram head Adam Mosseri confirmed.
Facebook removed a one-minute long video posted by Trump after Pro-Trump protesters stormed the US Capitol building where a vote to certify the results of the 2020 election was going on.
In the video, Trump could be seen calling on rioters to peacefully “go home” and stated falsely that “we had an election that was stolen from us.”
Facebook also removed a text by Trump asking his supporters to “remember this day forever!”
Twitter has restricted Trump on its platform, locking his account for 12 hours after removing three tweets that the company said were “severe violations” of its policies.
Twitter and Facebook have labeled several of Trump’s tweets in the past but this is the first time that they have gone ahead and removed his tweets and posts.
“Our public interest policy — which has guided our enforcement action in this area for years — ends where we believe the risk of harm is higher and/or more severe,” Twitter said in a tweet.
A chaotic and violent scene erupted at the Capitol on Wednesday as supporters of Trump swarmed the building to protest the Electoral College vote, forcing a lockdown and various confrontations with police.
One woman protester died at the Capitol after being shot.
The House and Senate were less than an hour into debating the first GOP objection to a state that Biden won — Arizona — when they were forced to abruptly recess as mostly maskless rioters crowded into the hallways around each chamber, The Hill reported
More than a dozen people have been arrested, police said Wednesday evening. Shortly before a 6 p.m. curfew established by Bowser, the House sergeant-at-arms informed lawmakers that the Capitol had been evacuated.
Lawmakers in both parties called for the prosecution of rioters who broke into the Capitol and interrupted proceedings.