Twitter, Facebook and Shopify took swift action following the chaotic events in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday when a pro-Donald Trump mob broke into the U.S. Capitol.
The violent group was encouraged by Trump on social media in the days and weeks leading up to the incident, which was an assault on American democracy. Yesterday, the president also failed to condemn their actions as the events unfolded, instead issuing a weak statement telling the crowd to go home, at the same time telling them: “We love you. You’re very special.”
As U.S. and global leaders call for the president to be removed from office, here are the measures three big social and shopping platforms have taken.
In its swiftest and most dramatic action yet, Facebook has banned Trump indefinitely. “The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, wrote in a post. “His decision to use the platform to condone rather than to condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world. We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect — and likely their intent — would be to provoke further violence.” Zuckerberg went on to say that Facebook has allowed Trump to use the platform “consistent with its rules, at times removing content or labeling his own posts when they violate our policies.” Now the risks are too great, Zuckerberg said, noting that Facebook would extend the temporary block on Trump’s Facebook and Instagram thoughts “indefinitely” — and at least for the next two weeks until President-Elect Joe Biden takes office.
Twitter, Trump’s favored platform, has also temporarily banned the President, but it is not yet known for how long. After Facebook’s move, some social media users are calling for Twitter to also pull the plug on Trump’s account until a peaceful transfer of power takes place.
Shopify removed all sites related to Donald Trump’s campaign on Thursday. The sites, including shopdonaldjtrump.com and trumpstore.com, no longer show up when users click on the URLs. “Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence. Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our acceptable use policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump,” a Shopify spokesperson said.