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Facebook Suspends Trump’s Account After Capitol Riot

The social media company has suspended President Trump's account through the remainder of his presidential term following a deadly riot and invasion of the U.S. Capitol building yesterday.

by Ben Muessig, Los Angeles Times / January 7, 2021
A pro-Trump protestor sitting at a desk inside the U.S. Capitol after rioters forced their way in Jan. 6. The move was an attempt to disrupt the verification of presidential election results. Shutterstock/Alex Gakos

(TNS) — Facebook will suspend President Trump's account through the end of his presidency, Mark Zuckerberg, the social media company's CEO, announced Thursday morning.

The move comes a day after Facebook and other social media platforms deleted posts and suspended accounts belonging to the president, due to messages that condoned rioters who had swarmed the U.S. Capitol.

"We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. "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."

President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Facebook and Twitter have faced scrutiny over their lax moderation of Trump's account. In recent months, they have increasingly leaned on disclaimers to flag certain posts as disputed.

"Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies," Zuckerberg wrote. "We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech. But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government."

Twitter's suspension of  Trump's account was set to expire Thursday morning. The president has not since tweeted.

©2021 the Los Angeles Times, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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