Twitter and Facebook has suspended Donald Trump on Wednesday over posts accused of inflaming violence in the US Capitol, as social media scrambled to respond to mayhem by supporters buying into his baseless attacks on the integrity of the election.
The unprecedented sanctions came after the president took to social media to repeat his numerous false claims about fraud and other impropriety in the election he lost to Joe Biden.
“This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video,” said Facebook vice president of integrity Guy Rosen.
“We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”
Facebook barred Trump from posting at the social network or its Instagram service for 24 hours, saying his messages were promoting violence.
Trump’s falsehoods, ranging from specific allegations to broad conspiracy theories, also prompted Facebook to change a label added to posts aiming to undermine the election results.
The new label reads: “Joe Biden has been elected president with results that were certified by all 50 states. The US has laws, procedures, and established institutions to ensure the peaceful transfer of power after an election.”
An activist group calling itself a mock Facebook oversight board said sanctions against Trump at the social network were long overdue.
“This is too little, too late,” the group said in a statement.
“Donald Trump has breached Facebook’s own terms and conditions multiple times. His account is not just a threat to democracy but to human life.”
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The crackdown came after Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol in an attack that led to one woman being shot and killed by police, interrupting congressional debate over Biden’s election victory.
The assault came after the president had urged supporters to march on the seat of government during a speech outside the White House in which he alleged baselessly that the election had been stolen from him.