Facebook suspends Trump account: Mark Warner issues response
Facebook announced today an indefinite suspension of President Trump from its platform.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a note to his Facebook page that the 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,” and that Trump’s use of the platform to condone the actions of supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol during the Electoral College certification could “provoke further violence.”
“Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech. But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. 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.”
Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., the incoming chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement in response to the Facebook announcement:
“While I’m pleased to see social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube take long-belated steps to address the President’s sustained misuse of their platforms to sow discord and violence, these isolated actions are both too late and not nearly enough. Disinformation and extremism researchers have for years pointed to broader network-based exploitation of these platforms. As I have continually said, these platforms have served as core organizing infrastructure for violent, far right groups and militia movements for several years now – helping them to recruit, organize, coordinate and in many cases (particularly with respect to YouTube) generate profits from their violent, extremist content.”