Former first lady Michelle Obama condemned what she said was President Trump’s role in kindling dangerous and violent protests in D.C. on Wednesday, calling on the country’s major technology companies to permanently ban the president from their respective platforms.
Obama characterized the pro-Trump protesters as a “gang” who “laid siege to the United States Capitol,” adding that social media giants needed to take action to prevent this type of “monstrous behavior.”
“Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior – and go even further than they already have 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,” Obama wrote in a statement.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 7, 2021
Trump’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, where he regularly communicates messages to his followers, were locked on Wednesday after the president posted a video message in which he called for calm and did not condemn rioters. He also referred to baseless claims of election fraud.
The Twitter ban is temporary and is expected to expire on Thursday.
The Facebook ban will last at least two weeks – through President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Looking forward, Obama said that true progress required acknowledging the “gulf” in responses to Wednesday’s protests when compared with the Black Lives Matter protests last year.
“It also means coming to grips with the reality that millions voted for a man so obviously willing to burn our democracy down for his own ego,” Obama wrote.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have condemned the actions of people who invaded the Capitol. And some Republicans have soured on their support for Trump, who has been accused of inciting the events and failing to sufficiently intervene.
As recently as Wednesday, Trump repeated unfounded claims that he won the election by a “landslide.”