Trump hits social media companies after they banned his accounts
President Trump took a swing at social media platforms on Tuesday after the tech giants’ decision last week to ban the president’s accounts over his comments about a mob of his supporters that stormed the Capitol in a deadly riot.
“I think that Big Tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country and I believe it’s going to be a catastrophic mistake for them,” Trump told reporters.
He accused the companies of being “divisive” and said it is “very, very bad for our country.”
Twitter, which was Trump’s most-used social media account, permanently banned Trump last week from its platform. The company said Trump’s posts pose “the risk of further incitement of violence,” and noted the platform had seen plans for further armed action at the U.S. Capitol and state capitol buildings leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Facebook has not gone as far as Twitter, yet. The platform indefinitely banned Trump’s account at least until Biden’s inauguration, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying the “risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”
Along with Twitter and Facebook, mainstream social media platforms, including Reddit, Snapchat and YouTube, across the board widely took action last week to ban or restrict the president after rioters in Washington breached Capitol security forcing lawmakers, media and staff to evacuate from congressional chambers to undisclosed locations.
The attacks left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer who sustained injuries to the head before his death.
Before Twitter and Facebook suspended Trump, they were among platforms to remove the president’s video posted after the riot in which he continued to spread disinformation about election fraud.
It was the strongest action the platforms had taken against the president. Previously, some of Trump’s posts were labeled, but he largely avoided removal and suspensions for violating the platforms’ policies due to his position as a public figure.
Trump held a rally shortly before the attack where he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol as he continued to repeat false claims of widespread voter fraud that he claims tainted the 2020 presidential election.
The remarks have become the basis for an article of impeachment against him that states the president engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”
Trump on Tuesday defended his remarks to supporters as “totally appropriate.”
“They’ve analyzed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody, to the T, thought it was totally appropriate,” Trump told reporters.
As mainstream social media platforms crack down on such content, however, Trump supporters have been using fringe right-leaning platforms to post about future demonstrations that experts warn could turn violent. Posts have indicated the potentially violent events may take place on Jan. 17 and Jan. 20.
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