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Kent MP calls on social media companies to ban accounts inciting violence after Donald Trump riots in US


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A Kent MP is calling on social media companies to ban accounts that incite violence and spread disinformation in the wake of the Trump riots.

Folkestone and Hythe Tory Damian Collins, a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, believes online platforms need to be much more rigorous when it comes to suspending accounts.

Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins
Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins

Speaking before Facebook announced today that it was to suspend President Donald Trump's account indefinitely, the parliamentarian said: “Insurrection has been incited by the President which is pretty unusual and we have seen him doing it on social media.

"He has whipped up feeling that the election was stolen even though there is no evidence for that and social media has been targeted at people most likely to believe it and be mobilised by it.

“We have to recognise that this sort of disinformation is dangerous to democracy and we have seen a live example of what happens if that goes unchecked.

"If the President is the ring leader and is the person who is directing this activity and encouraging it, then the social media platforms have to close off those channels if he is using them to encourage people to take to the streets to protest about the results.”

Announcing an indefinite ban on the President, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the Republican had used his account to “incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government".

President Donald Trump has had his Facebook account suspended following the riots. Picture: Chris Szagola/PA
President Donald Trump has had his Facebook account suspended following the riots. Picture: Chris Szagola/PA

He gave no indication of how the website would determine whether Mr Trump is allowed back on the platform.

Mr Zuckerberg also noted that the decision was taken because Facebook believes “the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great”.

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