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A 'Day of Reckoning' for Social Media

Trump banned from FB, IG 'indefinitely,' while social media sees a 'reckoning' in general after DC riots
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2021 11:05 AM CST
Trump Banned From Facebook, Instagram 'Indefinitely'
In this Sept. 1, 2020, file photo, President Trump listens to Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth in Kenosha, Wis.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci File)

(Newser) – On Wednesday, Twitter and Facebook locked down President Trump's social media accounts after inflammatory posts he made during a day marked by chaos and violence on Capitol Hill. On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took things further. "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 to his elected successor, Joe Biden," Zuckerberg wrote in a post. "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." While "indefinitely" is purposely vague, Zuckerberg says it will be "for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete."

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YouTube also took down one of Trump's posts. But social media platforms are now under the microscope for their role in helping to spread misinformation and "being a bullhorn for Trump," per the New York Times. Twitter investor Chris Sacca blasted Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for having "blood on your hands," telling them "for four years you've rationalized this terror." On BuzzFeed, Ryan Mac says past efforts to label Trump's misleading posts were "beyond rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. They're pointing out the dangers of icebergs as people are drowning." For Nick Bilton, the latest moves are all "too little, too late." Writing for Vanity Fair, Bilton notes Dorsey has said that his platform isn't responsible for its users' content, which Bilton calls "a bulls--- justification for not at least censoring Trump earlier." That, in turn, has led to "Dorsey and Zuckerberg [spending] the past four years choosing to let society descend into the chaos we saw today," he writes. (Read more social media stories.)

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