Facebook tells employees to avoid wearing company-branded clothing after Trump ban

Internal memo tells employees to ‘avoid wearing or carrying Facebook-branded items at this time’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 12 January 2021 14:58
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Following the ban on Donald Trump from Facebook, the social media company has told its employees not to wear Facebook-branded clothing in public.

In an internal memo reported by the tech news site The Information, Facebook said: "In light of recent events, and to err on the side of caution, global security is encouraging everyone to avoid wearing or carrying Facebook-branded items at this time."

The memo was posted on an internal board available to almost 57,000 employees, The Hill reported.

Facebook announced that it would bar Mr Trump from using the website after the storming of the Capitol.

Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg published a post the morning after the riot, saying that Mr Trump's "decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world. We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect, and likely their intent, would be to provoke further violence".

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Mr Zuckerberg wrote that they had allowed Mr Trump to use the social media network up until that point "because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech".

But after the violent storming of the Capitol, Mr Zuckerberg said the context is "now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government".

He said the risks of allowing Mr Trump to continue to use Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram are "simply too great". The ban on Mr Trump is indefinite but will last at least until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

The social media giant with 2.7 billion users wrote in a blog post on Monday that it was removing posts from Facebook and Instagram with the phrase "stop the steal," words used by Mr Trump and his supporters in relation to November that they claim, without evidence, was stolen.

Facebook vice presidents Guy Rosen and Monika Bickert wrote in the blog post: "We removed the original Stop the Steal group in November and have continued to remove Pages, groups and events that violate any of our policies, including calls for violence".

The rioters who violently stormed the US Capitol last week to prevent certification of Mr Biden’s win had called 6 January the day they would “save America” and “stop the steal," The Independent reported earlier.

Trump supporters are already planning to return to Washington, DC in the days leading up to inauguration day. On January 20, the day that Joe Biden is set to be sworn in as the next President, a “Million Militia March" is being planned, according to The Washington Post.

The Associated Press reported that the FBI is warning of armed protests at all 50 state capitols across the country next week.

The FBI has obtained information that a group is calling for the storming of state, local and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings if Mr Trump is removed from office before the inauguration of Joe Biden, ABC News reported.

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