Following the eruption of violence in Washington DC, Facebook and Twitter have taken active steps to curtail the impact, including limiting Donald Trump’s access and reach on platforms.
In response to the situation in the US Capitol, Facebook and Twitter have released strongly-worded statements. They include the steps these platforms are taking to remove content that could further heat things up in the country and how they are removing the content put up by President Trump, and blocking him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for stipulated time periods due to policy violations.
Twitter has asked three of Trump’s recent tweets to be removed from the platform, post which he will be locked out for 12 hours. “Further violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account,” the platform said.
In a note about the situation, Facebook announced that it has been searching for and removing the following content:
- Praise and support of the storming of the US Capitol
- Calls to bring weapons to locations across the US — not just in Washington but anywhere in the US — including protests
- Incitement or encouragement of the events at the Capitol, including videos and photos from the protestors. At this point they represent promotion of criminal activity which violates our policies.
- Calls for protests — even peaceful ones — if they violate the curfew in DC
- Attempts to restage violence tomorrow or in the coming days
“As a part of this, we removed from Facebook and Instagram the recent video of President Trump speaking about the protests and his subsequent post about the election results. We made the decision that on balance these posts contribute to, rather than diminish, the risk of ongoing violence,” the platform added.
Facebook is also updating the label that would be applied to all posts across its platforms that attempt to delegitimise the election results. The new text would read: “Joe Biden has been elected President with results that were certified by all 50 states. The US has laws, procedures, and established institutions to ensure the peaceful transfer of power after an election.”