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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is banned from posting on his Facebook and Instagram accounts for at least the next two weeks until the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden is complete, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post Thursday.

Why it matters: It's an extraordinary step for Facebook to take, given that the company has been one of the slowest to take action against the President's account and has historically prioritized free speech, especially for world leaders.

What's happening: After a pro-Trump mob sieged the U.S. Capitol for hours Wednesday, social media platforms began taking dramatic steps to limit the president's posts, which suggested the rioters were justified. After pressure from his aides, Trump posted a video telling his supporters to "go home," but adding that he loves them and that they are "very special."

What they're saying:

Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies. We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech. But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.
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.
— Mark Zuckerberg

What to watch: It's unclear when Facebook will lift the ban, but given its history with content moderation and account bans, it's likely the platform is still experimenting with the best way to proceed.

  • Facebook was slow to implement a post election ad ban — only to implement it, then later extend it, then amend it for Georgia races, and then change it again for Georgia races. The political ad ban nationwide still stands, while Google's has been lifted for weeks.

Go deeper: Social media platforms muzzle Trump after Capitol melee

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 8: The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.