Sheryl Sandberg says Facebook has NO plans to lift Trump ban

‘The president is not above our policies’: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says she’s glad that Trump’s accounts have been frozen and there are NO plans to lift ban

  • Donald Trump was banned from Facebook on Thursday until at least January 20
  • On Monday Sandberg, chief operating officer, said the ban may be permanent 
  • Sandberg said that she was ‘glad’ Trump’s page had been taken down
  • She said their actions showed that not even a president was above their rules
  • Trump has been blocked from all major social media platforms after the riots 

Facebook has no plans to lift the block on Donald Trump’s account, Sheryl Sandberg said on Monday.

Sandberg, the social media giant’s operations chief, said she was glad Facebook on Wednesday suspended Trump’s account – a move made permanent on Thursday.

‘In this moment, the risk to our democracy was too big that we felt we had to take the unprecedented step of what is an indefinite ban, and I’m glad we did,’ she added. 

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said Trump may never get his page back 

Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO, on Thursday explained: ‘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.’

Sandberg said Trump’s account may never be reinstated.

‘Are bans indefinite? We’ve said at least through the transition, but we have no plans to lift it,’ she said, speaking during the Reuters Next conference.

‘Even a president is not above the policies we have.’

Zuckerberg, pictured with Trump in Sept 2019, said allowing Trump on Facebook was too risky

If Trump wanted to appeal the removal of his content, that could happen through the company’s new Oversight Board, she added. Facebook said Trump could not appeal the actual suspension through the board.

Facebook executives have long taken a light touch to policing speech posted by politicians, maintaining that people have a right to see statements from their leaders.

The company backed down somewhat on that position and started applying labels to the president’s posts after facing a backlash this summer, including an advertiser boycott, when it declined to act against Trump’s incendiary rhetoric around anti-racism protests throughout the United States.

It reversed course and banned Trump indefinitely following last week’s riots, which culminated in the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Violent rhetoric on social media platforms including Facebook had ramped up in the weeks preceding the rallies as groups planned openly for the gatherings, according to researchers and public postings, prompting criticism of the companies for failing to take more aggressive action in advance.

Rioters coordinated their attack on the Capitol on Wednesday on social media 

The mob overran the Capitol Police shortly after Trump urged them to ‘fight’ on his behalf

Trump supporters, egged on by the president himself, stormed the Capitol on Wednesday

Sandberg acknowledged that Facebook may have missed some of those posts but said she believed the events were largely organized on other platforms.

She said the company was keeping an eye on further possible armed protests being planned for Washington, D.C. and at all 50 U.S. state capital cities in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, which has prompted an FBI warning.

Asked why Facebook had not taken comparable action against other leaders like Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, who likewise have been accused of inciting violence online, Sandberg said the company’s policies would apply globally.

Trump is now blocked from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. 

Twitter saw its shares drop by six per cent on Monday, wiping $2 billion off the company value on the first day of trading after banning Trump from the platform.  

Twitter saw its shares drop as much as 12 per cent in early trading on Monday

The tech giant permanently suspended the president citing a ‘risk of further incitement of violence’ in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters. It also purged his supporters.  

The fallout of Twitter’s permanent ban on Trump continued over the weekend, as his eldest son lashed out at the social media site and loyalists fled to alternatives such as Gab and Parler. 

Trump’s account had 88.7million followers, which is nearly half of the company’s total base of monetizable daily active users. 

‘The world is laughing at America & Mao, Lenin, & Stalin are smiling. Big tech is able to censor the President? Free speech is dead & controlled by leftist overlords,’ Don Trump Jr said in a tweet on Saturday, urging followers to join his mailing list, ‘In case I’m next.’ 

On Monday he retweeted a post which read: ‘The internet was a hell of a lot safer before @Twitter, @Apple, @Google, and @Facebook started protecting us from it’, writing: ‘This times 1000.’ 

On Friday, Twitter also permanently banned two Trump loyalists — former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell — as part of a broader purge of accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Trump friendly platform tweeted Monday: ‘Twitter lost $4 Billion today. LOL’ 

Police told The San Francisco Chronicle they are aware of a possible protest outside the company’s HQ and have been in contact with the social media giant.

Police told The San Francisco Chronicle they are aware of a possible protest

Police put together barricades in anticipation of a protest outside Twitter corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California on Monday 

There has been no official demonstration planned outside Twitter’s head office but talk online had suggested Trump fans may decided to gather their to protest the decision. 

One post on Saturday suggested those in attendance should bring ‘big’ zip ties to ‘citizen arrest violent agitators.’ Another is said to have told demonstrators to cover their faces with masks and hats. 

Twitter employees have not been in the office since March last year at the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Its CEO Jack Dorsey reportedly made the extraordinary call to permanently suspend Trump’s account Friday while he was vacationing in French Polynesia. 

San Francisco officer Adam Lobsinger said in a statement: ‘SFPD has been in contact with representatives from Twitter. We will have sufficient resources available to respond to any demonstrations as well as calls for service citywide.’ 

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