DONALD TRUMP has been banned from Facebook for at least the remainder of his presidency, founder Mark Zuckerberg has said.
The US President’s Facebook and Instagram accounts have been suspended “indefinitely and at least for the next two weeks” after chaos erupted in Washington DC yesterday. Mr Trump’s incendiary comments have been blamed for directly provoking violence from a mob loyal to the President when they stormed the US Capitol in a failed attempt to overturn the election result and prevent Joe Biden taking office. Four people died on the Capitol Hill grounds in the chaos, including a woman who was shot and killed after storming the building with fellow Trump supporters.
In a statement, Mr Zuckerberg said: “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.
“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.
“His decision to use his platform to condone rather than 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.”
Mr Trump’s social media blackout began last night when the platforms temporarily locked his accounts because of his baseless claims about the US presidential election amid riots in Washington DC.
Facebook has previously faced fierce criticism for failing to act on inflammatory posts from Mr Trump, including those that have been labelled by Twitter.
The President and his allies have been using social media to publish unsubstantiated claims of election fraud since Mr Biden was declared the winner.
Mr Trump said in a tweet posted yesterday, later removed by Twitter, that the storming of the building was a natural response.
He also blamed Vice President Mike Pence for lacking “courage” to pursue the claims of election fraud.
Twitter locked Mr Trump’s account for at least 12 hours and told him to delete those tweets and a video in which he alleged the presidential election was fraudulent and urged protesters to go home. If the tweets are not deleted, the account will remain locked.
Facebook and YouTube, owned by Alphabet’s Google, likewise removed the video.
The astonishing scenes from Washington have been met with global condemnation.