Reactions to postings: Facebook and Twitter block Trump

The incumbent US President Trump is known to enjoy communicating on Twitter and Facebook. After the riots in Washington, the corporations took an unprecedented step: They temporarily banned Trump.

Twitter and Facebook are temporarily putting a stop to the outgoing US President Donald Trump. In an unprecedented move, Facebook announced that Trump would not be able to post for 24 hours. The reason for the block are violations of guidelines of the online network.

The outgoing head of state violated the rules of the online network with two contributions, a spokesman said on Thursday night, among other things, on the Axios website. Twitter had previously blocked Trump for twelve hours – and threatened with a permanent ban if he did not delete the posts. The postings were removed from the respective Trump accounts.

“You are something very special”

The trigger for the locks was, among other things, a video in which Trump called on his supporters to withdraw from the US parliament building – but at the same time he repeated his unsubstantiated claims about alleged election fraud. He also showed sympathy for the attackers. So he said: “We love you. You are very special.”

In another post on the platforms, Trump wrote: “These are things and events that happen when a holy landslide victory is stolen so suddenly and meanly”. Addressing his followers, he continued: “Go home in love and peace. Remember this day forever.” Trump’s supporters had stormed the House of Parliament in Washington while there were deliberations to confirm the election victory of his successor Joe Biden.

Too late reaction of the networks?

While some observers welcomed the crackdown on the Internet platforms, some experts accused the companies of just messing around with Trump and his supporters for years. All along, they could have spread dangerous misinformation among the people and instigated violence that contributed to the recent escalation.

Jennifer Grygiel, a communication scholar and social media expert at Syracuse University, saw the events at the Capitol as a direct result of Trump’s use of online platforms to spread propaganda and misinformation. These tech firms should bear some responsibility for their own inaction, Grygiel said. Their decision to remove Trump’s video is too little and comes too late. Social media are involved because Trump has repeatedly used social media to incite violence.

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