Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the company would block President Donald Trump from posting to his Facebook and Instagram accounts for an indefinite amount of time and at least until President-elect Joe Biden assumes the Oval Office.
“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 post on his Facebook page. “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.”
The suspension represents Facebook’s most aggressive action yet against Trump during his four-year term. Calls had been mounting for Twitter and other social media platforms to shut down the president’s account or take other extreme action.
Facebook, Twitter, Snap and Google’s YouTube began taking steps on Wednesday to limit Trump’s posts on their platforms after he continued to make false claims about the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Facebook on Wednesday had said it would lock Trump’s account for 24 hours, preventing him from posting on the service. Facebook-owned Instagram also locked the president’s account on the service.
Twitter locked Trump’s account on Wednesday evening for 12 hours and warned that it could suspend him permanently if he continued to breach the company’s civic integrity policy. A spokesperson for Twitter told CNBC on Thursday that Trump has now removed the offending tweets, “and the 12-hour clock is on.” The lock could be removed around 3 p.m. ET.
Twitter declined to comment on whether it would also move to block Trump from posting to his account.
E-commerce platform Shopify on Thursday also closed websites associated with Trump that it said violated internal policies. The Trump Organization’s official retail site, Trumpstore.com, was among the sites taken offline.
Shopify told CNBC in a statement: “Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence. Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.”
The White House and the Trump Organization didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Here’s the full post from Zuckerberg, which was published to his personal Facebook account:
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.
Following the certification of the election results by Congress, the priority for the whole country must now be to ensure that the remaining 13 days and the days after inauguration pass peacefully and in accordance with established democratic norms.
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. 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.
— CNBC’s Salvador Rodriguez contributed to this report.