Tech experts and public figures are blaming Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube for the siege of the US Capitol

Tech experts and public figures are blaming Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube for the siege of the US Capitol
Supporters of President Donald Trump take over balconies and inauguration scaffolding at the United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty
  • Social media companies have taken steps to temporarily ban Trump and put limits on his accounts.
  • Business leaders and tech experts have called out Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube for their part in the spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories.
  • Violent pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol during the presidential election certification on Wednesday.

Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have each taken steps to limit President Trump's accounts on their platforms since pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, but many business leaders and public figures say its not enough.

Chris Sacca, who was an early investor in Twitter and Instagram, called the social media companies out on Twitter. He wrote that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have "rationalized this terror" and now "you've got blood on your hands."

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has been openly critical of Facebook in the past. On Wednesday, he tweeted a meme calling the insurrection part of a "domino effect" that began as "a website to rate women on campus," a reference to Facebook's origins.

Susan Fowler, who famously called out sexual harassment at Uber, took aim at YouTube. "YouTube is and has been for a while the go-to place for dangerous radicalization content. The fact that YouTube doesn't take white nationalism, racism, and misinformation as seriously as ISIS recruitment videos says something about their priorities and their role in this mess" the New York Times journalist tweeted.

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Another Times employee, opinion columnist and tech reporter Kara Swisher, called out Twitter and Facebook in a series of tweets. First, she tagged Dorsey and wrote Trump "has incited violence for days, using your tools in large part and you need to act now." In a followup tweet, she tagged Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and global public policy chief Joel Kaplan, saying "Facebook also needs to act now to calm the situation."

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen has been an outspoken critic of Facebook and Trump, and he tweeted after the platform banned the president that "every social media company, every online platform, every advertiser has a choice: Stand with Trump and the domestic terrorists who attacked the Capitol."

Roger McNamee, an early investor in Facebook and Google, told CNBC Wednesday that social media companies' business model of amplifying content like hate speech and conspiracy theories is to blame for the events at the Capitol. "Its the amplification of dangerous content that I would like to restrict, because that's simply a business model choice," he said.

Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook all removed a video of Trump disputing election results without evidence and calling the rioters "very special." Facebookhas since blocked Trump indefinitely, at least through the end of his term. Twitter locked Trump's account until he deleted three tweets that violated the platform's policy. He has since deleted the tweets, which led to a 12 hour ban. Youtube introduced new rules that accounts that violate Youtube policies three times in 90 days will be permanently removed.