Donald Trump’s relationship with social media has always been fruitful, even before he came to the presidency of the United States of America. Now, after the chaos in the capital, Washington DC, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have taken steps to stop messages from the head of state, which they consider to jeopardize public security.
The three platforms, owned by US multimillion-dollar companies, made the decision on the day when supporters of the still president invaded the Capitol building (comparable to the Assembly of the Republic), leading to the suspension of the process that was going to ratify the results of the past elections November 3rd and causing some destruction in space.
One person died and several were arrested. The police are investigating the incident, but did not advance the circumstances of the shooting. The country’s capital is under a curfew until 06:00 local time (11:00 in Lisbon).
Later in the afternoon, Facebook removed a video of Trump in which he asked his supporters who attacked Congress on Wednesday to go home, repeating false accusations of the integrity of the presidential election.
In the video, Trump starts by saying “” We know your pain. I know your wound. But they have to go home ”.
He also classified his supporters as “very special”.
Facebook’s vice president for Integrity, Guy Rosen, wrote on Wednesday on the social network Twitter that the video was removed because it “increases, rather than decreases, the risk of violence”.
At the time, Twitter had maintained access to the video, but prevented it from being redistributed or commented on.
“This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing the President Trump video,” said Rosen on Twitter.
YouTube (owned by Google) also said it had removed the video, for spreading falsehoods about widespread electoral fraud.
Later, the social network Twitter totally blocked Donald Trump’s account and demanded that he remove messages that excuse the violence, threatening to ban him forever.
This was the first time that Twitter made such a decision in relation to Trump, whom he threatened with a “permanent suspension”.
Without official internet channels and with the White House itself announcing that there will be no further statements in the next few hours, more Donald Trump interventions should not be known in the next few hours.
On the other hand, Mike Pence, the still vice-president of the United States, remains on Capitol Hill, with his spokesman saying that the Republican also has been in contact with the security forces, the Justice and Security departments, as well as with the leadership of the North American Congress, to guarantee the safety of the Capitol building, where even today the counting of votes from the electoral college was resumed.
The police used firearms to protect congressmen and only four hours after the start of the incidents did the authorities declare that the Capitol building was safe.
United States President-elect Joe Biden said the violent protests on Capitol Hill were “an unprecedented attack on democracy” in the country and urged Donald Trump to end the violence.
Shortly afterwards, Trump asked his supporters and protesters who invaded the Capitol on social media to go “home peacefully”, but repeating the message that the presidential elections were fraudulent.
The Portuguese government condemned the incidents, like the European Commission, the NATO secretary general and the governments of several other countries.