Friday , January 15 2021

Facebook does not plan to lift Trump account suspension

Facebook will not lift the suspension of Donald Trump’s account and will remove all messages with the slogan “Stop the theft”, which the outgoing US president helped to spread on social networks, in reference to the election he accuses the Democrats of having “stolen” from him.

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“Given the repeated attempts to organize events to challenge the outcome of the US presidential ballot, which may lead to violence, and the use of this phrase by those involved in Wednesday’s violence in Washington, we take additional measures with the approach of the nomination ”, indicated the social network in a press release Monday.

The Californian company announced Thursday that it would block Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, in the aftermath of the riots in Washington and the invasion of the Capitol for several hours by supporters of the Republican billionaire, which disrupted the validation by Congress of the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election.

“Our ban is indefinite. We said it would last at least until the presidential transition, but we have no intention of lifting it, ”said Sheryl Sandberg, number 2 in the group, during an online forum hosted by Reuters agency.

Twitter took a more drastic decision on Friday by deleting Mr. Trump’s account, depriving him of his favorite communication tool.

The White House tenant’s profiles have also been suspended from services like Snapchat or Twitch.

“Our rules apply to everyone,” Ms. Sandberg said. “We have withdrawn publications of Don Jr (the eldest son of Mr. Trump, editor’s note), we have withdrawn publications of other international leaders and other political leaders. (…) It shows that even a president is not above our rules ”.

Facebook has decided to keep many of its rules originally planned for the election, such as suspending all advertising related to politics or the polls.

Removing all content with the slogan “Stop theft” could “take time” acknowledged the social network, “but we have already removed a significant number of messages”.

Facebook had justified its decision last week by explaining that Mr. Trump’s recent messages put the risk of further violence.

Ms. Sandberg assured that Facebook had learned from its mistakes, after the many failures in the 2016 US presidential election.

Before the presidential election in November in the United States, the social network had stepped up efforts to dismantle attempts at disinformation and suspended many accounts, groups and pages of a violent or hate nature.

Asked about the power sometimes considered disproportionate of the large digital platforms, Ms. Sandberg said she was in favor of more regulation and said she hoped to work in this direction with the Biden administration, which will take office on January 20.

“We are a private company that provides a service,” she said, however. “It is our responsibility that this service is not used inappropriately, as happened last Wednesday.”

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