Former first lady Michelle Obama on Thursday called on social media websites to permanently ban President Donald Trump from their platforms.
“Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior-and go even further than they have by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technology from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection,” Obama said in a note posted to Twitter and quoted by NBC News.
Her post addressed many issues, including what she said was the stark contrast between how rioters were treated on Wednesday at the Capitol versus the violence Black Lives Matters protesters experienced over the summer. Obama also wrote that she prays Americans will give President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris a chance.
Obama’s post came after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media company is expanding Trump's suspension from the platform until the end of his term in office.
Zuckerberg wrote, "The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.”
"His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world. We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect — and likely their intent — would be to provoke further violence,” he added.
Facebook initially suspended Trump’s account for 24 hours, citing “two policy violations” as the reason.
“We've assessed two policy violations against President Trump's Page which will result in a 24-hour feature block, meaning he will lose the ability to post on the platform during that time,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
Facebook had earlier removed a video posted by Trump in which he called for the protesters in Washington, DC, to disperse, but also again alleged that the presidential election had been “stolen”.
Facebook decision came on the heels of Twitter’s move to lock Trump’s account for 12 hours after Trump posted three tweets the company said contained “repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy.”
Twitter added it would lock Trump’s account for 12 hours once he removes the tweets in question.
“If the tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked,” said the company, which further warned, “Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”