Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that outgoing President Donald Trump is “indefinitely” banned from Facebook and Instagram. The president has 32 million Facebook followers and 24 million Instagram followers.
The ban comes one day after the U.S. Capitol came under siege by a group of the president’s supporters, sending lawmakers into lockdown and leaving four people dead.
“Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies,” the Facebook founder wrote. “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.”
Trump was temporarily suspended from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Wednesday night amid the chaos in Washington. Representatives for Twitter did not immediately return requests for comment on whether that platform will do something similar with a more longterm suspension. Of note, Trump has more followers on Twitter than on Facebook and Instagram combined, reaching 88 million people.
On Wednesday, the president posted a video of himself to social media just before his bans were handed down. In the clip, he told his supporters to cease their violence, but continued to uphold the baseless claim that widespread voter fraud led to his electoral defeat in November, which was the reason his supporters descended on the nation’s capital in the first place.
Soon, notable people in the tech and entertainment industries were loudly calling for Twitter and Facebook to not only suspend the president, but deactivate his accounts entirely. As of yet, no platform has committed to doing that.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg concluded on Thursday, noting that the suspension of Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will last “for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”