An interview on Facebook of former President Donald Trump, conducted by his daughter-in-law Lara Trump (who also posted the video to her page), was removed by the company for promoting the “voice” of the former chief executive, who was banned from the social media site earlier this year over fears of him inciting violence.
The decision to remove the video was made by Facebook on Wednesday. In an email the company sent to Lara Trump, who is married to Donald Trump’s son Eric, Facebook explained that content from the former president would not be permitted under circumstances where it is deemed that Trump is trying to circumvent the ban imposed on him.
“In line with the block we placed on Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, further content posted in the voice of Donald Trump will be removed and result in additional limitations on the accounts,” the email, which Lara Trump posted to her Instagram account, said.
In a hyperbolic response to that email, Lara Trump wrote that Facebook’s decision was taking the country “one step closer to Orwell’s 1984,” referencing a dystopian novel by author George Orwell in which a government (not a private company) controls all aspects of citizens’ lives.
The decision by the social media company indicates that its ban on the former president will likely extend to other users who have a connection to Trump. Indeed, in a subsequent email to Lara Trump, Facebook further elaborated that the guidance being used for her post was also being applied to all campaign accounts associated with Trump, former Trump surrogates, and other means of messaging affiliated with the former president.
Trump was banned indefinitely from Facebook in early January for his role in inciting a mob of his loyalists to attack the U.S. Capitol building during the certification of the Electoral College on January 6.
“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 CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote the day after the Capitol breach.
Trump has demonstrated in recent days that he intends to find other ways to keep a presence on the internet. Earlier this week, the former president launched his own website, touting himself as a “magnificent” leader while ignoring the numerous controversies that took place under his watch, his two impeachments, and his attempt to throw out the results of the 2020 presidential race. Trump also used the site to deflect blame on China for the nearly half million coronavirus deaths in the U.S. that occurred during his tenure, suggesting that it had nothing to do with his leadership style, in spite of what former officials who had served under him are now saying.
Trump is also reportedly planning to start his own social media site. According to sources that have spoken to Fox News about the matter, Trump is “moving forward” with the project, which would allow him to interact with his supporters without facing repercussions for violent and incendiary rhetoric he may generate.
“President Trump will have his voice back one way or another,” one source told Fox.