Social media platforms have taken their strongest action yet against US President Donald Trump but are now facing calls to go even further and delete his accounts altogether.
Twitter and Facebook have removed videos and posts from Donald Trump where he falsely claimed there was a plot to steal the presidency away from him after he lost the election, and expressed his love for the people who stormed the US Capitol building on Thursday morning (Australian time).
Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account has also been locked down for at least the next 12 hours, and it will remain locked until he actually deletes the posts that Twitter blocked.
The company said further violations would result in permanent suspension of the account, but others are urging them not to wait for a second offence or for a second longer.
Many are “@ing Jack” to demand the Twitter CEO delete Mr Trump’s account.
Facebook has announced a 24-hour suspension of Mr Trump’s account features and said it’s also searching for and removing content praising the attack, any calls to bring weapons to any location in the US, or to incite further action.
Twitter boss Jack Dorsey is yet to post anything on the social media platform he runs.
Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t posted on his Facebook account in almost a month but Facebook’s vice-president of integrity Guy Rosen tweeted to say Trump’s video would be removed from the platform.
Donald Trump’s video that has been deleted from Twitter and Facebook showed him continuing to push the lie that the election has been stolen from him, as the politicians that supported and helped perpetuate the false claim begin to backtrack.
Mr Zuckerberg has previously said he believes “lying is bad” and “people should be able to see for themselves what politicians that they may or may not vote for are saying and judge their character for themselves”.
Twitter and Facebook have previously faced backlash and criticism for not taking any action against Donald Trump’s tweets but the President’s use of their platforms only posed them more and more problems, especially in the last year.
“Tech companies are having to reconcile the weight of a President’s words, which have traditionally been seen as something that is necessary to be in the public domain, against public health concerns around coronavirus,” United States Studies Centre research associate Elliott Brennan recently told news.com.au.
But it’s not just public health concerns; Mr Trump has also posed challenges through inciting violence.
Twitter was forced to take action last year against a tweet from the President saying: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” a comment he made in the context of the Black Lives Matter protests.
In regards to today’s storming of the Capitol, Mr Trump referred to the rioters as people “we love” who “are very special” but who should “go home” in the video that Facebook and Twitter have removed.