August 3, 2021

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Facebook Removes Trump Posts Addressing Riots, Twitter Blocks Retweets

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Topline

Facebook has removed posts from President Donald Trump addressing his supporters who stormed the Capitol Building, while Twitter took steps to limit their reach, moves which follows widespread condemnation of the platforms’ lack of action in the lead up to the violence in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

Key Facts

In a video and subsequent tweet, Trump urged rioters to “go home”—but sought to justify their actions by saying he knows their “pain” and “these are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away.”

Facebook Vice President of Integrity Guy Rosen said in a statement the video was taken down because the situation was an “emergency,” saying “on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”

Twitter put a warning label beneath the flagged tweet, which notes the restrictions have been put in place “due to a risk of violence” and disputes Trump’s baseless claim that the election was “stolen” from him.

Twitter also issued an official statement on the situation unfolding in Washington D.C., stating “threats of and calls to violence” were against the social platform’s rules and it was enforcing such rules accordingly.

Key Background

Democrats and prominent figures in tech and media have slammed Twitter and Facebook CEOs Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey for their platforms’ inaction leading up to the violence. Venture capitalist Chris Sacca tweeted: “You’ve got blood on your hands, Jack and Zuck. For four years you’ve rationalized this terror. Inciting violent treason is not a free speech exercise. If you work at those companies, it’s on you too. Shut it down.”

Big Number

470. That’s the total number of Trump tweets that have been flagged by Twitter as of Thursday afternoon, most of them related to election misinformation.

Tangent

Further Reading

Trump Falsely Attacks Election Integrity Once Again, Blasts Twitter For Flagging Him (Forbes)

Republican Senators Accuse Facebook, Twitter CEOs Of Censorship, As Democrats Assailed Them For Misinformation (Forbes)

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