Trump to regain Facebook access Thursday night after account locked over response to Capitol violence
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President Trump will regain access to his Facebook account Thursday night after the social media giant locked him out of his account for the first time for violating its policies.
The president’s account was temporarily suspended after posting a video telling protesters who stormed the Capitol Building, erupting in violent protests which led to multiple deaths, to "go home" while maintaining that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from him.
Facebook first flagged the video, and then removed it altogether, before locking the president’s account due to "two policy violations." Trump lost the ability to post on Facebook during the "feature block."
A Facebook spokesman told Fox News on Thursday morning that the penalty the company implemented Wednesday night was for 24 hours, so Trump’s account will be able to post again sometime Thursday night.
In a statement Wednesday night, Facebook said it is "appalled by the violence" at the Capitol and is "treating these events as an emergency."
Facebook said it searched for and removed content that praised and supported the storming of the Capitol, called to bring weapons to locations across the U.S., and posts that incited or encouraged events at the Capitol, including videos and photos from protesters — which Facebook said "represent promotion of criminal activity which violates our policies."
Facebook also added that it was monitoring for posts calling for protests, "even peaceful ones," if they violated the curfew in Washington, D.C., set by Mayor Muriel Bowser. That curfew began at 6 p.m. Wednesday and lifted at 6 a.m. Thursday.
Facebook also said the decision to remove Trump's posts and lock his account came because it believed the posts "contribute to, rather than diminish, the risk of ongoing violence."
The company also said it updated its label on posts across its platforms that "attempt to delegitimize the election results."
"The new text reads: 'Joe Biden has been elected President with results that were certified by all 50 states. The US has laws, procedures, and established institutions to ensure the peaceful transfer of power after an election,'" Facebook said.
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Facebook also added that in recent weeks, it took enforcement action to ban "militarized social movements like the Oathkeepers and the violence-inducing conspiracy theory QAnon."
"We’ve also continued to enforce our ban on hate groups including the Proud Boys and many others," it said. "We’ve already removed over 600 militarized social movements from our platform."
Facebook added: "We’re continuing to monitor the situation and will take additional measures if necessary to keep people safe."
In the video that led to the president's suspension, Trump, addressing supporters, said: "I know your pain, I know your hurt."
"We had an election that was stolen from us," Trump said in the video taped from the White House. "It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side."
He added: "But you have to go home now. We have to have peace, we have to have law and order we have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anyone hurt."
The president went on to say that it is a "very tough period of time — there has never been a time like this where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us — from me, from you, from our country."
"This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people," Trump said. "We have to have peace."
Trump added: "So go home, we love you, you're very special, you’ve seen what happens, you’ve seen the way others are treated that are so bad, so evil. I know how you feel."
"But go home and go home in peace," he said.
Facebook Vice President Guy Rosen, upon the platform's removal of the video, initially said: "This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump's video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence."
Facebook initially flagged Trump's post with a label saying: "Joe Biden has been elected President with results that were certified by all 50 states. The US has laws, procedures, and established institutions to ensure the peaceful transfer of power after an election." The company later removed the post altogether.
Twitter also removed the video and locked the president’s account, but it went a step further, warning him that further violations of its rules would result in a "permanent suspension" from the platform.
And Instagram also locked the president's account Wednesday night, according to a Twitter message from Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram.
Earlier in the day, before the unrest at the Capitol began, the president addressed his supporters at a pro-Trump rally and railed against Big Tech and social media.
"Twitter's bad news," Trump said. "They're all bad news. If you want to go through social media, Big Tech, if you're a Republican or have a big voice, they shadow ban you."
He added: "And it should be illegal."
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The president also said he has "been telling these Republicans to get rid of Section 230."
Republicans have questioned whether social media giants should still be afforded liability protections under Section 230 — a rule that shields social media companies from being held liable for content on their platforms while allowing them to moderate that content.
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