As Shopify Bans Trump, Facebook Extends Trump Ban to Permanent

Facebook has finally taken the step to permanently ban Trump. This as Shopify also bans Trumps account following assault on Capitol buildings.

It is now day two since Donald Trump supporters treasonous assault on the Capitol. Trumps supporters were actively encouraged by Trump to carry through with their siege in a vain effort to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden. As that happened, social media finally had enough. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all banned Trump from their platforms. The reason is that Trump was inciting violence. Twitter demanded that Trump delete three of his tweets and banned Trumps account for 12 hours.

Meanwhile, Trump supporters proudly recorded their criminal behavior and uploaded their insurrection on social media. As a result, social media became a massive trove of evidence as the FBI asked the public for help in identifying the traitors. For our part, we were able to link to two video’s and a picture that clearly shows the perpetrators faces. Obviously, this is a very very small slice of the evidence uploaded onto social media, but we thought we’d offer a couple examples anyway.

Now, there is more fallout online from the seditious act. Shopify says that it has banned Trump, cutting off a method for him to sell merchandise. From TechCrunch:

Shopify, which hosted shops related to Trump’s campaign paraphernalia and the outgoing President’s personal brand, TrumpStore, has apparently taken down both of those properties.

“Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence. 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,” a Shopify spokesperson wrote in a statement to TechCrunch. “As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.”

News of the move was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

It’s a reversal of policy for the company, which had previously defended the rights of any customer to use the platform and a refusal to engage in what chief executive Tobias Lütke termed censorship.

Facebook, a platform who’s CEO had long kept covering for Trump and his supporters, has also updated the information regarding Trump’s ban. Mark Zuckerberg says that the platform has now suspended Trumps account permanently. From The Guardian:

Donald Trump will be suspended from Facebook and Instagram indefinitely and at least until the end of his time in office, Mark Zuckerberg has said, as a consequence of his support for the rioters who stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday.

The US president was initially suspended from the social network for 24 hours, as a result of two posts shared to the platform in which he appeared to praise the actions of the rioters.

In a post to Facebook on Thursday, Zuckerberg said the suspension would last much longer. “The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Facebook’s chief executive wrote.

“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.”

The news of the indefinite suspension sparked joy inside the company, where Zuckerberg’s note was cross-posted to Facebook’s internal message board. In comments posted by employees, most praised the decision – a sentiment repeated externally. “I’m not always proud to work at Facebook, but today I am,” wrote Jake Blakeley, an employee of Oculus, the company’s VR division. “This was a strong decision.” And former Facebooker Mary Minno Ioannidis, who now works at Google, said: “This is an incredibly courageous step by the company.”

As earlier noted, during the assault on the heart of American democracy, Trump sheepishly said that his supporters should go home. Mixed in the message, however, Trump expressed his love and support for the terrorists/rioters. The message only further angered American’s. To make matters worse, after the assault happened and after the Twitter ban expired, Trump issued a very scripted message saying that he disagrees with the attack. Still, he told his supporters that this is “only the beginning” of their “long journey”. The address did little to quell the anger that Trump instigated the attack in the first place.

Trump supporters, meanwhile, are having mixed emotions following their attempted coup. Some heard Trump calling on his supporters to go home. This has angered some of his supporters. From Buzzfeed:

The reversal, which moderators hinted was made under pressure from the site’s hosts, left some Trump loyalists in disbelief that they had done anything wrong: They were, they said, only following the president’s orders.

“I don’t understand the thinking,” said one popular post on the forum. “Trump told us to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. We listened to the president. They should be thanking us.”

“For weeks people were saying how ready they were to fight. The moment it happens everyone starts pearl clutching,” read another popular post.

For some, Trump’s video Thursday night, where he acknowledged for the first time that he had lost the election, only intensified the feelings.

“Wow, what an absolute punch in the gut,” one post with more than 100 upvotes said. “He says it’s going to be wild, and when it gets wild, he calls it a heinous attack and middle fingers his supporters that he told to be there. Unbelievable.”

Other supporters were trying to figure out how they can deflect blame from their terroristic activities. Some went so far as to blame the blue for their actions. From NBCNews:

Hours before the about-face, some claimed that their protest had been infiltrated by the network of loosely organized radical groups called “antifa,” although there is no evidence, while others suggested that the lack of law enforcement had created something of a reverse Trojan horse.

“Police officers at the very, very front were just letting them in, you know?” said Isaiah Lucero, who drove to Washington from Colorado and sported a Trump beanie. “It’s very suspect. I think it was intentional. The officers waved them in and backed down the hallway.”

That was a tactic, some insisted, to undermine their movement by giving them room to create the chaos that would derail their unsupported claims of election fraud. There is no evidence of that, either.

Of the 13 Trump supporters who spoke to NBC News on Thursday, all but Lucero said they did not enter the Capitol during the riot.

“I plead the Fifth,” Lucero said, flashing a grin and adding that a door to enter the building had opened for him when he got to the top of the Capitol steps.

Many Trump supporters did not want to speak on the record about their experiences at the protest and the subsequent riot Wednesday for fear of legal repercussions or because they distrust the media. Some said they intended to change their names on their social media accounts because they were scared that they would be identified by antifa or journalists.

Antifa, it should be noted, is a fictitious group invented by right wing extremists in an effort to divert attention from their own criminal activity.

Ever since the insurrection, there’s been growing calls to have Trump immediately removed from office. Trump, of course, only has 12 days left in office. The reasoning, though, is that every day Trump is still in office, he is free to continue to urge his supporters to launch further attacks on America’s democracy. Lawmakers from both parties are beginning to agree that this is the correct action at this stage. From CTV:

Lawmakers of both parties raised the prospect Thursday of ousting U.S. President Donald Trump from office, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that if he wasn’t removed, the House may move forward with a second impeachment.

Though Trump has less than two weeks in office, lawmakers and even some in his administration began discussing the issue Wednesday afternoon as Trump first refused to forcefully condemn the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters, and then appeared to excuse it.

Senior Trump administration officials raised the long-shot possibility of invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment — the forceful removal of Trump from power by his own Cabinet.

Pelosi told a news conference she is waiting for a decision from Vice-President Mike Pence and other Cabinet officials. She challenged several of them by name, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

“Do they stand by these actions?” Pelosi asked. “Are they ready to say that for the next 13 days this dangerous man can do further harm to our country?”

Unfortunately, reports are indicating that Pence still supports the terrorist in office and is said to have rejected using the 25th amendment to remove him from office. Undeterred by the enabler, lawmakers have decided to make an attempt to remove Trump from office. From the National Post:

Democrats in the House of Representatives, which holds the power to impeach the president, were holding a conference call at noon Friday to discuss next steps, according to two Democratic aides.

If a president is impeached, the Senate holds a trial and votes on removal, with a two-thirds majority required for conviction. Republican Senator Ben Sasse said on Friday he would “definitely consider” any articles of impeachment from the House. Trump has “disregarded his oath of office,” Sasse told CBS News.

Removing Trump by constitutional means is a tall order for the 12 days remaining in his presidency, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has not made a formal determination to move forward with a second impeachment.

But outrage over Wednesday’s events has grown to the point that it could be impossible for Pelosi to ignore, prompting a rapid vote as soon as early next Monday or Tuesday, according to interviews with House Democratic members and aides conducted by The Washington Post.

“We have a great sense of unity that we have a moral obligation to act,” said Rep. Daniel Kildee, D-Mich., a Democratic deputy whip. “If we can shave any number of days of the threat this president represents off the calendar, we will have done public good, but there’s also another important aspect of this. . . .

“It would be a more accurate view of history if this president suffered the ultimate penalty for his crimes against his country, no matter how many days are removed from his tenure.”

Several late night talk show hosts expressed their disgust at the events that have unfolded as well. Some are also actively calling for the removal of Trump.

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who has, up to now, been very careful not to upset Trump, has finally become more forceful about his comments about what happened. Trudeau blankly said that the riots were incited by Trump. From the CBC:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today this week’s attack on Capitol Hill was a “shocking” event that was “incited” by President Donald Trump.

“What we witnessed was an assault on democracy by violent rioters, incited by the current president and other politicians,” he said during an address outside his residence at Rideau Cottage.

“As shocking, deeply disturbing, and frankly saddening as that event remains, we have also seen this week that democracy is resilient in America, our closest ally and neighbour. Violence has no place in our societies, and extremists will not succeed in overruling the will of the people.”

Trudeau said the words used by political leaders have a direct impact on individuals’ behaviour and institutions, adding that everyone heard what the president said before the “horrific” events unfolded.

Other world leaders have responded in horror over what has happened in the US. From CP24:

What is happening is wrong,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement. “Democracy – the right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard and then have that decision upheld peacefully – should never be undone by a mob.”

Australia warned its citizens to avoid protests following what Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described as “rather disturbing scenes” in the United States.

“The riots and protests that we’ve seen in Washington, D.C., have been terribly distressing. They are very concerning,” Morrison told reporters shortly after the U.S. Congress resumed proceedings late Wednesday Washington time.

“This is a difficult time for the United States, clearly. They’re a great friend of Australia, and they’re one of the world’s greatest democracies. And so … our thoughts are with them and we hope for the peaceful transition to take place,” he said.

The Chinese Embassy in the United States also warned its citizens about the “grave” situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and the “large scale protest march” in Washington that prompted the city government to impose a curfew.

“The Chinese Embassy to the U.S. reminds Chinese citizens in the U.S. to closely follow their local virus and safety situations, raise their vigilance, be aware of their personal security and consider deeply before visiting public spaces,” the Embassy said in a notice on its website.

Leaders around the world condemned the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

“Disgraceful scenes in US Congress,” tweeted Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, a staunch U.S. ally for generations. “The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.”

Indeed, the whole world is watching the events unfold right now, not just the technology community. While the response may have been slow by social media, action was finally taken. As some pointed out already, social media took action faster than lawmakers in trying to stem the violence.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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