Facebook – Facebook, Twitter allow false Republican claims about Capitol
As the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump approaches, Facebook and Twitter are allowing the Oregon Republican Party to make false claims that the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol was not perpetrated by the former President’s supporters.
Both Silicon Valley social media giants, whose platforms were used heavily to spread stolen-election lies that drove a mob to storm the seat of the U.S. government Jan. 6, are allowing the state party to falsely claim “there is growing evidence that the violence at the Capitol was a ‘false flag’ operation designed to discredit President Trump, his supporters, and all conservative Republicans.”
A trove of evidence, including social media posts by Capitol attackers, shows that the insurrectionists were Trump supporters seeking to disrupt the Congressional process of installing Joe Biden as President. Trump was impeached Jan. 13 in the U.S. House of Representatives on a charge of inciting insurrection over the assault on the Capitol. His trial in the U.S. Senate is scheduled to start Feb. 8. Five people including a police officer beaten with a fire extinguisher died in connection with events at the Capitol that day.
Facebook, asked about the “false flag” assertion, did not explain why it was allowing the false claim to remain on its website. Twitter described the claim as the Oregon GOP’s “opinion as a party” despite the party asserting as fact non-existent “growing evidence” of a false flag operation. “The tweet thread is not in violation of our safety or civic integrity policies,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
San Francisco-based Twitter permanently banned Trump after the Capitol invasion, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.” Facebook indefinitely banned Trump, citing “a U.S. president actively fomenting a violent insurrection designed to thwart the peaceful transition of power.” The Menlo Park social media giant said it has referred the suspension to its oversight board.
The Oregon GOP’s claim of a false-flag operation — a scheme designed to blame one group for another’s action — came in a statement posted Jan. 19 on Twitter and Jan. 20 on Facebook. A second post to the state party’s 23,350 Facebook followers and 7,824 followers on Twitter, claimed that the purported operation “provided the sham motivation to impeach President Trump in order to advance the Democrat goal of seizing total power.” The statement also says, “We demand a full and transparent public investigation of the actual instigators of the violence.”
Oregon GOP chairman Bill Currier said in a Jan. 19 video on Facebook that his state party was working with a “patriot network” of state representatives of the national GOP to “coordinate our messaging.”