Social media giant Twitter suspended President Donald Trump’s account late Wednesday following the riot on the US Capitol, alleging multiple violations of terms. Zuckerberg’s Facebook soon followed, with Facebook-owned Instagram also joining the action. Snapchat later reportedly added itself in a 24-hour suspension of the President’s account.
Twitter Safety reported, “As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy.”
“This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked,” the statement continued. “Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”
“Our public interest policy — which has guided our enforcement action in this area for years — ends where we believe the risk of harm is higher and/or more severe,” the statement concluded. “We’ll continue to evaluate the situation in real time, including examining activity on the ground and statements made off Twitter. We will keep the public informed, including if further escalation in our enforcement approach is necessary.”
According to media reports, a Trump spokesperson confirmed Trump has since deleted the tweets, which means he should regain access following a 12-hour Twitter suspension.
Facebook’s suspension took place via a video removed by both their organization and YouTube that both tech companies claimed violated company policies. The removed video allegedly claims the President told those who stormed Congress “…you have to go home now. Go home, we love you. You’ve very special.”
Facebook VP of Integrity Guy Rosen wrote on Twitter, “…this is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”
A YouTube spokesperson reported to media outlet TechCrunch regarding their removal of the same Trump video. The statement noted, “We removed a video posted this afternoon to Donald Trump’s channel that violated our policies regarding content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Election.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also reportedly sent a post to employees that has since become widespread on social media, stating in part:
“…our teams are actively monitoring the situation. We removed the recent video of President Trump’s remarks expressing support for the people causing the violence. We are treating this situation as an emergency, and we are implementing additional measures to keep people safe.”
While Americans appreciate safety, many citizens are appalled at the free speech limitations taking place against the nation’s President. If this is how Big Tech can shut down the nation’s leader, what could happen to the rest of the nation’s citizens?
Though Twitter has long banned political ads, Facebook increasingly squeezes free speech from its users. In a post Wednesday, Facebook also stated it is removing content supporting the storming of the US Capitol, as well as videos and photos from protestors. Even calls for peaceful protests in violation of the DC curfew are included in its plans for removal.
With the political power of the nation shifting left, free speech will continue to be under attack via Big Tech. Trump may be the most visible conservative on social media, but the days ahead can expect to see new limitations regarding the conservative political views of America’s patriots.