Facebook has “indefinitely” blocked outgoing US President Donald Trump’s account following yesterday’s riots at the US Capitol.
In a statement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said 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.”
Four people died when protestors stormed the Capitol building last night - with one of the President's supporters shot and killed by police.
President Trump repeatedly failed to call on his supporters to pull back from the building as the scenes unfolded and has been accused of increasing tensions with a number of inflammatory tweets.
He eventually released a video message in which he again made claims about election fraud before asking his supporters to go home and go home peacefully.
Both Twitter and Facebook suspended his accounts last night.
We believe the risks of allowing President Trump to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great, so we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks. pic.twitter.com/JkyGOTYB1Z
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) January 7, 2021
Mr Zuckerberg said President Trump’s use of Facebook “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,” he said.
He said the priority for the US must now be a peaceful transfer of power.
“Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labelling his posts when they violate our policies,” he said.
“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.”
President Trump has today deleted a number of the Tweets he sent during the riots.
Twitter had warned that it would only unlock his account if the Tweets were deleted.