Six Tech Platforms Censor Trump or Supporters Over DC Riot

January 8th, 2021 2:48 PM

The internet’s most powerful platforms appear to have blamed President Donald Trump for riots that occurred at the U.S. Capitol building, even as he called for an end to civil unrest.

Many of the internet’s biggest tech platforms launched varied but simultaneous attacks on the sitting president. Twitter locked Trump’s account for 12 hours and “included the removal of three tweets and a warning that Trump could be subject to a permanent suspension” if he continues to contest the election's legitimacy, The Washington Post reported. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared in a Facebook post that the block on Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram would be extended indefinitely. “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” he said. Zuckerberg specified: “[W]e 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.” Other tech platforms including Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and even Shopify have followed suit in blaming the sitting president for the actions of the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, even as he made a call for “peace.”

“Shopify, the Canada-based tech company that makes popular software tools to help merchants run online stores, shuttered the Trump Organization’s on Thursday morning, as well as the e-commerce portion of the president’s election website,” Vox Recode reported Jan. 7. 

A Shopify spokesperson declared in a statement: “Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence.” The statement also included the announcement: “Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.”“Twitter late Wednesday locked President Trump out of his account for the first time, the most punitive step the social media giant has taken against the president, on a day of social unrest and violence in Washington,” The Washington Post reported. “The lockout, which will last for 12 hours, also included the removal of three tweets and a warning that Trump could be subject to a permanent suspension” if he continues to contest the election's legitimacy.

Snapchat also went after the president’s account on its platform. “Snapchat locked President Donald Trump’s account after pro-Trump rioters stormed the United States Capitol,” TechCrunch reported. A Snap spokesperson reportedly confirmed to the outlet “that the action was taken on Wednesday and added that the company will monitor the situation closely before re-evaluating its decision,” TechCrunch explained.

Axios created a roundup of multiple Big Tech platforms that have also censored Trump and his supporters in the days following the D.C. riot: 

“Reddit says it's taking action on reported violations of its content policies, which prohibit the incitement of violence.

“TikTok is removing content violations and redirecting hashtags like #stormthecapitol and #patriotparty to its Community Guidelines.”

This multi-pronged deplatforming of Trump occurred as high ranking Democrats and former First Lady Michelle Obama called for a crackdown on the president and his supporters. “They bear major responsibility for ignoring repeated red flags and demands for fixes,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) according to the Washington Post, Blumenthal condemned Big Tech companies for refusing to crack down “until well after there was blood and glass in the halls of the Capitol.”

It speaks volumes that Michelle Obama, like many others, has specifically singled out Big Tech as the institution of choice to crush conservative dissent. 

Michelle Obama declared in an open letter via Twitter that the time has come for Big Tech to punish Trump for his supporters’ behavior:

"Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior—and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technology from being used by the nation's leaders to fuel insurrection."

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your local representative and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form and help us hold Big Tech accountable.