US President, Donald Trump has been suspended from his Facebook account for at least two weeks – and possibly indefinitely.
The development means Trump will be unable to post on Facebook and Instagram until after the transition of power to Joe Biden on 20 January.
The social network had originally imposed a 24-hour ban after his supporters attacked the US Capitol.
However, Facebook’s chief Mark Zuckerberg in a statement on Thursday noted that the risks of allowing Mr. Trump to post “are simply too great”.
In a video posted to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Mr Trump told the rioters attacking the seat of government “I love you” before telling them to go home. He also repeated false claims about election fraud.
Mr Zuckerberg said Facebook had removed the president’s posts “because we judged that their effect – and likely their intent – would be to provoke further violence”.
He said it was clear Mr Trump intended to undermine the transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden.
“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,” he 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.
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 the 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.
Mr Trump’s favoured platform, Twitter, had also suspended the president for 12 hours.
It said it required the removal of three tweets for “severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy”.
The company said the president’s account would remain locked for good if the tweets were not removed.
It went on to say that “Future violations of the Twitter Rules… will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account”.
The 12-hour timer on Mr Trump’s account has expired, but he has not yet tweeted again.
His account now states that three of his tweets are “no longer available because [they] violated” its rules.
The platform only uses this specific notice in cases when account holders have deleted the post themselves.
Although Twitter has declined to comment on the matter, this indicates that Mr. Trump or one of his associates may have taken the action required to get the account restored after a 12-hour ban ends.