Is Trump's Facebook ban working? POTUS page gains around 150,000 likes after being blocked post Capitol riots
After President Donald Trump was blocked on Facebook by the social media giant, his page has since reportedly received tens of thousands of likes. According to US analytics company Social Blade statistics, the president’s page gained 142,170 new likes between January 7 -- when his account was banned “indefinitely” -- and January 13, Newsweek reported.
Trump posted last on January 6, when his supporters marched down to Capitol building, and which resulted in a deadly riot which killed five people, including a police officer. The last message on his Facebook wall read, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!” Social Blade also reported that since the violent protests in Washington, D.C, the number of Facebook accounts "talking about" Trump has increased by hundreds of thousands daily.
Last week when pro-Trump supporters targeted the Capitol, social media sites rushed to control Trump’s accounts to prevent further disturbance. On January 7, Mark Zuckerberg issued a statement on his Facebook page declaring that POTUS’ Instagram and Facebook accounts would be blocked "indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete."
The FB CEO said, “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. Following the certification of the election results by Congress, the priority for the whole country must now be to ensure that the remaining 13 days and the days after inauguration pass peacefully and in accordance with established democratic norms.
“Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies. We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech. But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government. We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. 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.”
Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, also said that the company has "no plans to lift [its ban on Donald Trump in force until president-elect Joe Biden's inauguration] right now." “There's obviously so much happening and this is such a big step. We will definitely let people know and be very transparent about any changes to that,” she added.
Other than Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat have also put a ban on the Republican leader. Twitch, the live-streaming site that Trump’s campaign used to stream speeches, has deactivated his account until Biden assumes office. Besides, E-commerce company Shopify took down two online Trump memorabilia stores.