Pressure mounts on social platforms to ban Trump for good
In the wake of Wednesday's deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, calls are mounting for Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms to suspend President Donald Trump's access to social media — permanently.
Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, on Thursday suspended Trump’s account for at least two weeks, and possibly indefinitely. Twitter, however, merely revoked Trump's posting privileges for 12 hours after he posted a video that repeated false claims about election fraud and praised the rioters who stormed the Capitol.
On Friday, the company permanently banned two Trump loyalists — former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell — as part of a broader purge of accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory. Twitter said it will take action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm.
“Given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content,” Twitter said in an emailed statement. The company also said Trump attorney Lin Wood was permanently suspended Tuesday for violating its rules, but provided no additional details.
The company says that when it determines a group or campaign is engaged in “coordinated harmful activity,” it may suspend accounts that it finds primarily encourages that behavior.
Social media companies have been under intensified pressure to crack down on hate speech since a violent mob egged on by Trump stormed the Capitol. Dozens of QAnon social media accounts were hyping up Trump's Jan. 6 rally in the heart of Washington, expressing hope that it could lead to the overturn of the election results.
On Friday, the advocacy coalition Stop Hate for Profit launched a campaign to pressure the major...