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Twitter, Facebook bounce President Trump from their platforms

Twitter has permanently suspended President Trump's account. Facebook has banned the president until the end of his term and possibly beyond.

Last updated Jan. 8, 2021:

Twitter and Facebook have banned President Donald Trump from their social networks due to his role in the storming of the U.S. Capitol by thousands of his followers.

On Friday, Twitter suspended Trump's @realDonaldTrump account permanently, blocking the president from using the platform to communicate with his more than 88 million followers. In a statement, Twitter said it took action due to the "risk of further incitement of violence."

On Wednesday, Trump goaded followers to "fight like hell" shortly before a mob attacked the Capitol building. Five people died in the assault.

Following the Twitter suspension, Trump released a statement accusing the social network of conspiring with "the Democrats and the Radical Left."

"Twitter is not about FREE SPEECH. They are all about promoting a Radical Left platform where some of the most vicious people in the world are allowed to speak freely,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

On Thursday, Facebook banned Trump from the social network and Instagram until the end of his term on Jan. 20 and possibly beyond. In a Facebook post, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he believed Trump intended to undermine the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden.

"We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great," he said.

In the past, Facebook has removed Trump's incendiary posts while allowing him to remain on the platform to provide the public with broad access to political speech.

However, Trump's posts on the day of the Capitol attack used Facebook "to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government," Zuckerberg said.

Tobe Berkovitz, a Boston University professor specializing in political advertising, said the Facebook ban could drive Trump supporters to join other social sites. He noted a similar situation in cable news, in which that audience migrated from Fox News to Newsmax.

"Hardcore Trump supporters want a venue to go to," he said. "Nature abhors a vacuum, and if there's a vacuum, people will try to find what fits their needs."

Other social media sites have limited Trump's use of their platforms. The Twitch video streaming service, a subsidiary of Amazon, disabled Trump's channel on Thursday. "We believe this is a necessary step to protect our community and prevent Twitch from being used to incite further violence," Twitch said in a statement.

Snapchat maker Snap has locked Trump's account. And YouTube changed its misinformation policies to make it easier to suspend the president for posting false claims about the November elections, according to The New York Times.

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