Social media videos showed the chaos and violence, as it happened, between pro-Trump supporters and police that took place inside and outside the US Capitol in Washington DC, on Wednesday. As the riots broke out, Twitter and other social media sites were on the top, also the only platform, to tell what was happening in the nation’s capital.
On the day, thousands of Trump supporters turned up for demonstrations as Congress was set to certify Joe Biden’s election win. But, when the protestors gathered before the US Capitol building, the mood got violent and ugly resulting in the clash between protestors and police. The police security perimeters were breached and the building was invaded by a mob of protestors. During the invasion, one woman was shot by a police officer. Later it was reported that the woman died.
Four people died during the riots and 52 were arrested over the violence according to the police in Washington DC.
While the mainstream news networks struggled to broadcast the incidents taking place inside and outside of the Capitol, the people on both sides live-streamed the events via Twitter and other social media sites. White House press pool reporters and elected officials from both parties streamed what was happening in real-time.
It shows how influential social media can be at supplying information and news instantly. However, it should not be denied that some information streamed through these media can lead to chaos, crimes and misfortunes too. For example, some instant images on social sites showed the mob trying to break through a barricaded door while security inside pointed their guns through the broken window. The information passed directly and as it was happening.
Social media serve to deliver information and news to the public a great deal today, however, there are several occasions where false, biased, and misleading information have been transmitted through these platforms. Furthermore, tech giants of social media have not been able to address these problems effectively and practically, which may be – because they lack the right kind of tool or the offenders have their own social media account.
Twitter and Facebook block Trump
Social media giants – Twitter and Facebook have suspended Donald Trump after addressing his supporters who attacked the US Capitol.
Twitter said that Trump violated their “Civic Integrity Policy” and has suspended him for 12 hours. Also, Twitter has warned of a permanent suspension if the future violations occur.
Meanwhile, Facebook and Instagram have extended block on Trump’s account until the transition of power to Biden is complete, which is till January 20. In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook had removed the president’s posts “because we judge that their effect – and likely their intent – would be to provoke further violence.”
He also added, “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.”
In a social media message to his supporters, Donald Trump said “I love you” and described the Capitol invaders as “patriots” before he urged them to “go home”. He also repeated falsehoods about the integrity of the presidential election.