Facebook suspends Trump account through end of his term

www.latimes.com
7 min read
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'The risks ... are simply too great,' Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said of allowing President Trump to continue posting on Facebook between now and the Jan. 20 inauguration of his successor.
A day after the mob he urged on stormed its way into the U.S. Capitol seeking to disrupt a count of electoral votes, President Trump faced the suspension of his Facebook account through the end of his term in office, the lingering threat of a similar action by Twitter and freezes or suspensions on other valuable social media and e-commerce channels under his control.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced the suspension Thursday morning in response to Trump's messages condoning the rioters the day before. As members of Congress sheltered in place and law enforcement officers sought to secure the building, Trump posted a message saying his "sacred landslide election victory" had been "viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long." A subsequent video message posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube urged rioters to "go home now" but reiterated the baseless claim of a stolen election.

The three platforms removed the video, and Facebook and Twitter issued temporary blocks on the president's accounts Wednesday. Facebook then went a step further, freezing Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts through at least Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated. Separately, Snapchat said it had also locked his account and would reassess later.

"We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. "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."

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Twitter imposed a temporary freeze on Trump's account Wednesday but lifted it Thursday after he deleted messages that violated its safety policies. The company warned, "Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in…
Andrea Chang
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