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Trump Video No Longer On Twitter, Facebook, YouTube Amid Chaos On The Capitol

Facebook and Twitter move to limit reach of Trump video amid chaos at the Capitol.
Facebook and Twitter move to limit reach of Trump video amid chaos at the Capitol.

Facebook on Wednesday removed a video message by President Trump, citing "the risk of ongoing violence."

Facebook executive Guy Rosen called the pro-Trump mob swarming the Capitol an "emergency situation," suggesting the president's video message had the potential of worsening the chaos.

"We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence," Rosen tweeted.

Twitter did not go as far as removing the video, which was also posted to its site. But the platform did restrict the video's reach over concerns of "a risk of violence."

In the video, Trump told his supporters who have stormed the U.S. Capitol to "go home now," but the president also baselessly claimed the election was stolen and told his angry backers: "We love you. You're very special."

Twitter restricted engagement on the tweet, blocking retweets, likes and comments on the platform. But Twitter still allowed the video message to be quote-tweeted. Many users did just that, allowing the material to spread around the social network. In the hour after Trump posted it, the video was viewed more than 11 million times on Twitter.

This is not the first time the company has added layers of friction to the president's tweets to slow their spread across the platform.

But critics called on Twitter to do more, such as suspending Trump's account for repeatedly stoking violence over his unfounded claims over his election loss. Others demanded that the president's accounts on both sites be permanently banned.

"Twitter and Facebook have to cut him off," tweeted Alex Stamos, a former top security official at Facebook.

Officials at Twitter declined to comment on further action they might take.

"We are also exploring other escalated enforcement actions and will keep the public updated with any significant developments," the company said in a statement.

Trump's short video address followed hours in which the president remained silent as a melee ensued on the Capitol. His supporters violently entered the building, causing lawmakers to be rushed out to safety and law enforcement to draw their guns.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bobby Allyn is a business reporter at NPR based in San Francisco. He covers technology and how Silicon Valley's largest companies are transforming how we live and reshaping society.