Facebook's ex-security chief has joined calls for social media platforms to 'cut off' Trump after violent mobs stormed the Capitol

  • Facebook, along with Twitter, should ban President Donald Trump, Alex Stamos, a former Facebook security chief, tweeted Wednesday.
  • After pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, Trump released a video on social media where he spouted baseless claims about election fraud, including that he won in a "landslide."
  • The platforms removed the videos, but critics, including Stamos, say this action isn't enough and have called for Trump's permanent suspension from Facebook and Twitter.
  • Free expression is "critical to democracy," but the speech of democratic actors can be "extremely dangerous," Stamos said.
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Social media platforms should ban President Donald Trump, said Alex Stamos, a former Facebook security chief, on Wednesday after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol.

He made the comments in a said in a tweet, adding that warning labels to posts made by Trump isn't enough. "Twitter and Facebook have to cut him off," he wrote. 

Social media platforms have increasingly come under fire in recent months for allowing misinformation related to the presidential election, including from Trump, to spread.

Congress met on Wednesday to certify the result of the US presidential election. Urged on by Trump's violent rhetoric and claims of election fraud, rioters stormed the Capitol. Four people died – one was shot by police and three others suffered fatal medical emergencies.

Read more: Lawmakers, Hill staffers, and reporters recount the harrowing experience as a violent pro-Trump mob broke into the Capitol to protest the electoral-vote count

After the violence erupted on Wednesday, Trump released a video on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube where he told rioters to go home. However, he also spouted baseless claims about election fraud, including that he won in a landslide.

All three platforms removed the videos.

YouTube said it violated its policies on content that alleges widespread fraud. A Facebook executive said the company believes the video "contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence."

Facebook and Instagram also blocked him from posting content for 24 hours and Twitter locked his account for 12 hours.

Twitter originally attached a warning label to the video and prevented users from liking or retweeting "due to a risk of violence." It also said the claims made in the video were disputed. Later that day, the tweet, alongside two others, was made "unavailable" on the platform, before being removed completely by Trump.

As a result, he is on course to get his account back.

"Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account," Twitter said.

Removing Trump from the platforms would mean he would turn to other websites, Stamos said, "but at least the damage he does would be more contained."

He noted that free expression is "critical to democracy," but the speech of democratic actors can be "extremely dangerous."

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen joined the calls for Trump to be permanently removed from the platforms, saying a temporary suspension is "NOT ENOUGH."

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk also slammed Facebook over Wednesday's riots in the Capitol, while former Twitter investor Chris Sacca told Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: "You've got blood on your hands."

"For four years you've rationalized this terror," Sacca tweeted. "Inciting violent treason is not a free speech exercise."

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