US President’s speech taken down by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, Trump temporarily suspended from the social media sites, reports Asian Lite News
Social media giants Twitter and Facebook have temporarily blocked US President Donald Trump from further posting after his supporters violently stormed the Capitol building in Washington D.C.
In a video on Wednesday, Trump urged his supporters, who forced their way into the Capitol earlier in the day, to go home, but repeated his unsubstantiated claims about widespread fraud in the November 3, 2020, presidential election.
In a statement late Wednesday night, Twitter said that Trump’s personal Twitter account will be locked for 12 hours as he violated the platform’s violent threats policies and will be permanently suspended if he continues to do so, Xinhua news agency reported.
“Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account,” Twitter Safety said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Facebook did not initially remove the video and instead added a label about “accurate election info.”
The post was shared about 49,000 times within 30 minutes before it was removed, The Hill news website said in a report.
Regarding the development, Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, said in a statement: “This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video.
“We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”
Google-owned YouTube also removed the video, saying that it violated the video-sharing platform’s policies regarding content that alleges widespread election fraud.
In a statement, YouTube spokesperson Alex Joseph said: “In addition, we’re continuing to raise up authoritative news sources on our home page, in search results and in recommendations. We will remain vigilant in the coming hours.”
Campaign to “kick off” Trump
Several tech leaders and social activists called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to move beyond labelling Trump messages, and aggressively curb his posts amplifying and endorsing violence.
“Twitter and Facebook have to cut him (Trump) off. There are no legitimate equities left and labeling won’t do it,” Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former chief security officer, said in a tweet.
“You’ve got blood on your hands, (Jack) and Zuck. For four years you’ve rationalized this terror. Inciting violent treason is not a free speech exercise. If you work at those companies, it’s on you too. Shut it down,” posted Chris Sacca, one of the earliest investors in Twitter.
“Enough is enough. It’s time for Facebook and Twitter to kick Trump off their platforms. We’ve been in contact with @Facebook and @Twitter leadership about this but we need your help,” tweeted Rashad Robinson, President, Color of Change.
The organisation also launched a petition that people can use to make a direct appeal to Twitter’s Dorsey.
“Donald Trump has historically violated your terms of service with impunity and now, as a result of his promotion and facilitation of today’s chaos, insurrectionists have stormed our Senate building leaving Senators, staffers, and building employees fearing for their lives,” the petition read.
“There is no excuse for allowing this dangerous user to exploit your platform It’s time to #KickTrumpOffTwitter”.
Accountable Tech, an ethics organisation, tweeted: “Sadly, Twitter and Facebook’s preparedness and response has been wildly inadequate. Simply labeling incitements of violence is not enough.”
Ellen Pao, tech investor and the former CEO of Reddit, said the chaos is directly linked to Dorsey’s inaction. This is on Twitter and @jack. In November, @laura and I told them to do the right thing. They didn’t. And here we are,” Pao wrote on Twitter.
“Let me say in no uncertain terms @jack @vijaya @kayvz: If you do not suspend Donald Trump’s Twitter account for the next day at least, this mob attack on Congress is also on you. Sorry, but he has incited violence for days, using your tools in large part and you need to act now,” tweeted tech media expert Kara Swisher.