After Facebook and Twitter, image-centric social media network Snapchat on January 13 also permanently banned US President Donald Trump from the platform. Following the horrifying Capitol siege, Trump’s access to social media has been largely cut off. Operators fear that the President could use his Snapchat account to foment unrest in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20. Therefore, the social media network joined others and decided to "permanently terminate" his account.
According to CNN, a Snapchat spokesperson noted that last week the platform had announced an “indefinite suspension” of President Trump’s account. After assessing what long term action is in the best interest of the Snapchat community, the spokesperson added the company decided to ban Trump permanently from its platform. He said that in the interest of public safety and based on Trump’s attempts to spread misinformation, hate speech and incite violence, Snapchat decided to “permanently terminate” his account.
In the wake of the US Capitol riots and ahead of Biden’s inauguration, social media platforms are scrambling to eliminate or limit the reach of inflammatory content and accounts, with a special focus on what to do about accounts linked to the US President. Last week, Facebook said that it would ban Trump’s account from posting for at least the remainder of his term in office. Micro-blogging website Twitter, which was Trump’s preferred online megaphone, permanently suspended his account.
Moreover, YouTube on Tuesday said that it is suspending the President’s channel for at least one week and potentially longer after his channel earned a strike under the platform’s policies. Apart from Trump’s social media accounts, the right-wing inclined platform Parler, which has proved particularly popular among supporters of US President, has been banned from Google, Apple and Amazon for “inciting ongoing violence” in the nation. With all three major web hosting services banning the app, Parler is set to go offline if it fails to find an alternative.
On January 6, Trump supporters stormed US Capitol in name of protest against the "rigged election" claim made by Donald Trump. Violence and destruction ensued soon after, with mob vandalising and defiling the chambers of the Capitol building. Trump had given a speech from the White House, urging protesters to march on the Capitol after making claims of "voting fraud".
Moreover, calling his speech 'totally appropriate', Trump also called the clampdown on his social media accounts as a 'catastrophic mistake'. He also lambasted the Democrat-controlled Congress for moving articles of impeachment, saying it was causing 'tremendous anger' and that the move was 'absolutely ridiculous’. However, on Thursday Trump became the first US President to be impeached twice by the House with 232-197 votes in favour of impeachment.