In a statement posted to Facebook, Zuckerberg condemned the president for his abuses of the social media sites in a post — seen here — after he expressed his shock at the events of January 6 when rioters, who believed unfounded allegations of election fraud posted by Trump on social media, stormed the Capitol building.
The president uses the platforms as a way to directly connect with his millions of followers. For weeks, he alleged in posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that the 2020 election was rigged.
Zuckerberg claimed those actions proved that Trump intended to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his successor, President-elect Joe Biden. He noted that Trump’s decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building had impacted people in the United States and around the world.
“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,” Zuckerberg wrote.
The tech mogul noted that over the last several years, Facebook and Instagram have allowed Trump to use their platforms consistent with their rules while, at times, removing content or labeling his posts when they violated policies. Zuckerberg explained that Trump’s statements were allowed because both Facebook and Instagram have a policy that allowed the public to have the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech.
After several of Trump’s posts on Wednesday appeared to stoke violence that occurred in the Capitol, Zuckerberg added that the use of Facebook and Instagram to “incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government” made the current context fundamentally different.
Zuckerberg concluded his statement by writing that the risks of allowing Trump to continue to use these services during this period were simply too great. Therefore, the block placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts would hold indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power was complete.
Trump currently has 35 million followers on Facebook and 24.6 million on Instagram.
Followers of the tech mogul shared their own commentary following his remarks.
“As it should be. I hope no tech companies are ever again faced with having to decide whether or not to ban or block the activities and words of a United States President ever again,” penned one follower in a post seen here.
“Too little too late! Y’all are to blame too for allowing such hate and erroneous information on your platform. And when we report we get the stupid ‘it doesn’t violate our standards’ message. Useless!” wrote a second Facebook user.
“Silencing the leader of the free world should be a crime and you should go to prison. He is an elected leader until the day he isn’t. Silencing free speech is unacceptable in any form,” claimed a third follower.