placed its harshest restrictions yet on President Trump, blocking him Thursday from posting indefinitely a day after the social media giant and its peers removed posts in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
The ban, which applies to Facebook’s flagship blue app and Instagram, was initially due to last 24 hours when the company on Wednesday said it removed a video from Mr. Trump that reiterated unsubstantiated claims the election was stolen and expressed support for the protesters.
“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,” Mr. Zuckerberg said Thursday.
The Facebook chief separately addressed company employees in an all-hands meeting Thursday during which he further explained the decision to implement a longer ban.
reinstated Mr. Trump’s access to his personal account, which has more than 88 million followers, after he deleted three tweets that the company said represented “repeated and severe violations” of its civic integrity policy.
In his first post since the restriction was lifted, he tweeted a video condemning the violence at the Capitol and acknowledged that a new administration would be inaugurated Jan. 20, without specifically naming Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect
“This moment calls for healing and reconciliation,” Mr. Trump said in the video posted around 7 p.m. Eastern time.
Twitter, which initially locked his account Wednesday, warned that it could enact a permanent suspension if Mr. Trump continued to violate rules.
White House spokesman Judd Deere criticized the social media platforms’ actions, saying “it’s incredibly ironic, yet not surprising, that when the President spoke to the country at a critical time Big Tech chose to censor and block him from doing so. Big Tech is out of control.” In a now-deleted video posted Wednesday on Facebook and Twitter, the president described supporters as “very special” before calling on them to end the protest and go home.
Mr. Trump, as well as Republican lawmakers, have criticized the efforts of social-media companies in the run-up to and following the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election, claiming their actions to censor content have been targeted at stifling conservative viewpoints.
A YouTube spokesman said Thursday that any channel posting new videos that spread misinformation about widespread voter fraud would be penalized, a move that temporarily restricts content from being uploaded or live-streamed.
Several videos that Mr. Trump posted Wednesday to his channel deemed to violate company rules were removed, a spokesman said. YouTube is a unit of Google, which is owned by
Twitch also placed limits on Mr. Trump’s accounts. A Snap spokeswoman said the president’s account was locked indefinitely because the company “will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice.”
Social-media companies have been facing increased pressure from some lawmakers and users to take a tougher stance on Mr. Trump, calling for longer account suspensions or a permanent ban.
Adam Sharp, Twitter’s former head of news, government and elections, on Thursday called for his former employer to follow Facebook’s approach and implement a longer ban on Mr. Trump. In a series of tweets Mr. Sharp, now chief executive of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, said he previously defended Twitter’s approach to allow speech from the president even if it violated rules based on “newsworthiness” but the flagged posts Wednesday were “uniquely flagrant violations.”
a Republican digital strategist, said large social-media companies have for years ignored warnings of the dangers that their platforms pose to the real world. “They finally unfortunately saw that yesterday,” he said.
He blamed Facebook’s algorithms in particular for what led to Mr. Trump’s ban and the violent protests at the Capitol. “It was clear from all the QAnon slogans and paraphernalia these were people who had been radicalized by Facebook,” he said. Facebook didn’t respond to a request for a response to his comment.
The efforts from large platform operators to fact-check or slow the spread of Mr. Trump’s posts started before the November election. In May Twitter for the first time applied a fact-checking notice to a tweet in which the president suggested without providing evidence that mail-in ballots would lead to voter fraud. A month later Facebook said it took down posts and ads for Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign because they violated its policy against “organized hate.”
And in August both Twitter and Facebook removed posts by Mr. Trump that showed a video of him saying children are “almost immune” from Covid-19, a claim the companies said ran afoul their rules against harmful misinformation about the coronavirus.
The moves to sanction Mr. Trump extend beyond social media. A range of business leaders and trade groups denounced his posts Wednesday and urged for a peaceful transition of power.
Online stores run by the Trump Organization and Trump campaign were taken offline Thursday by
an e-commerce software provider. A Shopify spokeswoman said Mr. Trump violated the company’s policy, which prohibits retailers on the platform from promoting or supporting organizations or people that promote violence. Representatives for the Trump Organization, the umbrella company overseeing the president’s real estate and branding business, didn’t immediately respond to requests to comment.
—Vipal Monga and Jeff Horwitz contributed to this article.
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