Selena Gomez accuses tech giants of ‘failing the American people’ over DC unrest

7 January 2021, 02:34

Selena Gomez
The 88th Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles. Picture: PA

Twitter and Facebook have taken action against Donald Trump following Wednesday’s unprecedented scenes.

Selena Gomez has accused technology giants of allowing their platforms to be used to spread hate and partly blamed them for the shocking violence in Washington DC.

The pop star, who has previously called for social media companies to better tackle the spread of disinformation, named Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google, as well as their senior executives, urging them to “fix things moving forward”.

After supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in unprecedented scenes on Wednesday in which a woman was shot and killed, Twitter and Facebook took action against the president.

Gomez said: “Today is the result of allowing people with hate in their hearts to use platforms that should be used to bring people together and allow people to build community.

“Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai, Susan Wojcicki – you have failed the American people today, and I hope you’re going to fix things moving forward.”

Twitter was first to lock Mr Trump’s account, warning him future violations would result in a permanent suspension.

It demanded he remove three tweets, including a video he posted in which he repeated his unfounded claims about election fraud while urging his supporters to “go home”.

The tweets were deleted.

Facebook later followed suit, announcing Mr Trump would be unable to post for 24 hours following two violations of its policies.

The moves follow years of intense debate over how the social media giants should handle Mr Trump’s often controversial presence on their platforms.

Like Gomez, the British comedian and actor Sacha Baron Cohen has long called for Twitter and Facebook to act on disinformation.

He urged action from both Twitter and Facebook following Wednesday’s violence and said a suspension did not go far enough.

He said: “This is your chance to finally defend democracy. Ban Trump from Twitter—for good!”

In an earlier tweet, Baron Cohen tagged executives from Twitter, Google, YouTube and Facebook and demanded they remove Mr Trump “once and for all”.

By Press Association