“Therefore, we are extending the block that we have placed on their Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is completed.”
If the latest restrictions are maintained, Facebook could be the first major platform to remove Trump permanently.
Facebook’s move now raises expectations that Twitter, known to be the president’s social media platform of choice, will follow suit. Twitter has confirmed that Trump deleted several tweets to regain his tweeting privileges sometime on Thursday, though the company declined to say when exactly he could tweet again.
Twitter also said that “future violations … will result in the permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”
“There’s this element of all companies wringing their hands until one of them takes a step, and then in a few minutes, everyone does,” said Adam Sharp, former head of news, government and elections at Twitter. “Nobody wants to be the first, and they just take turns deciding who will be the first to turn around. Then all ‘Thelma and Louise’ make the call.”
The underlying problem facing most technology platforms, he said, is that the severity of Trump’s misconduct goes far beyond the efforts of companies to build standardized systems to punish misconduct.
In his blog post Thursday, Zuckerberg said Facebook had determined that Trump’s recent posts were “probably” intended to escalate the violence rather than the other way around.
Trump has shown that he “intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and legal transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Facebook has already described the events surrounding Trump’s posts this week as an emergency. Now, Zuckerberg has finally revealed where Facebook will draw the line for Trump, with nothing less than a deadly assault on Congress.