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Facebook, Instagram ban Trump for 2 weeks to allow 'peaceful transition of power'

Last Updated Jan 7, 2021 at 11:38 am EST

President Donald Trump arrives in the early morning hours, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, at the White House in Washington, after returning from a rally in Dalton, Ga. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Facebook will bar President Donald Trump from posting on its system at least until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, the platform said Thursday.

In a post announcing the unprecedented move, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the risk of allowing Trump to use the platform is too great following the president’s incitement of a mob that touched off a deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

Zuckerberg says Trump’s account will be locked “for at least the next two weeks” but could remain locked indefinitely.

“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.

The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, January 7, 2021

Trump has repeatedly harnessed the power of social media to spread falsehoods about election integrity and the results of the presidential race. Platforms like Facebook have occasionally labeled or even removed some of his posts, but the overall response has failed to satisfy a growing number of critics who say the platforms have enabled the spread of dangerous misinformation.

In light of Wednesday’s riot, however, Zuckerberg said a more aggressive approach is needed.

“The current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government,” he wrote.

Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday also temporarily locked President Donald Trump’s accounts after he repeatedly posted false accusations about the integrity of the election. Twitter said Thursday that it had no news to report on further actions on Trump’s account.

A message left with the White House on Thursday morning was not immediately returned.