Three of the nation’s top social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — removed a video posted by President Donald Trump on Wednesday amid riots at the Capitol building, The Hill reported.
In the clip, Trump can be heard telling supporters who breached and ransacked the Capitol following a rally where he spoke to “go home now. We have to have peace,” he said, according to a transcript from Rev.
Trump went on:
I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side, but you have to go home now… We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.
It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us, from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people.
“We have to have peace. So go home,” the president reiterated. “We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home at peace.”
Big Tech doubles down
According to The Hill, Facebook and Twitter immediately labeled the video for containing inaccurate information about the election, but as public outrage over the actions of a pro-Trump mob at the Capitol began to build, the platforms removed the video entirely within hours, as did Google-owned YouTube.
In the 30 minutes the video was on Facebook, it was shared more than 49,000 times, according to The Hill. Facebook said the video was removed from its platform because “on balance, we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence,” the platform’s vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, said.
The social media company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced Thursday morning that both Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, would keep Trump’s accounts shut down until at least after Inauguration Day, USA Today reported.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg wrote Thursday in a post to the platform. “Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
“Let me be clear”
But despite the concerns of Big Tech, the president made it clear on Thursday that he didn’t condone the actions of rioters at the Capitol.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany accused the demonstrators of “undermining the legitimate First Amendment rights of the many thousands who came to peacefully have their voices heard in our nation’s capital.”
“Let me be clear: The violence we saw yesterday at our nation’s Capitol was appalling, reprehensible, and antithetical to the American way,” McEnany added. “Those who violently besieged our Capitol are the opposite of everything this administration stands for.”