Twitter, Facebook lock Trump accounts, remove video from message to supporters

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube removed video in which President Trump addressed supporters as a pro-Trump mob Protesters stormed the United States Capitol Wednesday afternoon. The sites said the video, in which Mr. Trump apparently sympathized with protesters and repeated false statements about the election, contributed to continued violence and violated policies of disinformation.

Twitter and Facebook went further and locked the president’s accounts.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday his bloc would stay in place until the end of the president’s term and potentially indefinitely.

“We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this time are simply too great,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “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.”

Twitter froze the president’s account for 12 hours and asked him to remove the tweets. He said if he continues to break Twitter rules after that, the @realdonaldtrump account will be permanently suspended.

In the now deleted video, Mr Trump told his supporters: “I know your pain. I know you are hurt. We had an election stolen from us” – a claim he continues to make even afterwards. his own attorney general confirmed that there was no evidence of such fraud and the courts dismissed his lawsuits.

The president continued in the video, “But you have to go home now. We have to have peace.”

“We must have law and order. We must respect our great people in law and order. We do not want anyone to be hurt,” he said, before returning to a defiant message. : “… There has never been a time like this when something like this happened where they could take it away from all of us, from me, from you, from our country.”

“But we cannot play these people’s game,” he told his supporters. “We love you. You are very special. You see what’s going on, you see how others are treated so badly and so badly. I know how you feel, but come home and come home in peace. ”

Twitter first flagged the video and blocked Mr. Trump’s followers from commenting, retweeting, or liking the video, before deleting it and then locking his account for 12 hours. The president will have to delete the tweets for his account to be restored, Twitter said.

“Due to the unprecedented and continuing situation of violence in Washington, DC, we have demanded the deletion of three @realDonaldTrump tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and serious violations of our civic integrity policy.” , he said in a tweet, adding a policy link, which prohibits “manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes” or publishing false information about them.

Facebook initially said on Wednesday that Mr. Trump would not be able to post on the platform or Instagram for 24 hours, before extending the ban on Thursday.

“The priority for the whole country must now be to ensure that the remaining 13 days and the days following the inauguration proceed peacefully and according to established democratic standards,” Zuckerberg said.

Guy Rosen, who oversees Facebook’s work on security and integrity, tweeted Wednesday
that the social media site removed Mr. Trump’s video as part of an “emergency.”

“We removed it because overall we think it helps rather than decreases the risk of continued violence,” Rosen said.

Facebook too declared On Wednesday, it searches for and removes all content “praising and supporting” the riots in Washington, DC. It also removes content that “calls for bringing weapons to places across the United States,” incites or encourages them. events on Capitol Hill, calls for protests that violate the Washington, DC curfew, or attempts to “re-enact the violence” in the coming days.

“We are appalled by the violence on Capitol Hill today. We are treating these events as an emergency,” Facebook said. “Our Election Operations Center has already been active in anticipation of the Georgia election and the Congressional vote to certify the election, and we are monitoring activity on our platform in real time.”

YouTube told CBS News in a statement that the company removed the video from the president’s channel because it “violated our policies regarding content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 US election. ”

However, the company will allow downloads of copies of the video “with additional context and sufficient educational, documentary, scientific or artistic (EDSA) value”.

Video remained live on the Trump campaign Speaking page, where it gained 1.3 million views on Wednesday night.

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Harry Qualls

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