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Sandberg says Facebook has no plans to lift Trump ban right now

After Twitter permanently banned Trump's account, Facebook is facing pressure to do the same.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg spoke virtually at the Reuters Next conference.
Screenshot by Queenie Wong/CNET

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said Monday the social network doesn't plan to lift the indefinite block the company placed on President Donald Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts after Wednesday's deadly riot on Capitol Hill.

The world's largest social network locked Trump's accounts over concerns the president's remarks could incite more violence before or after Joe Biden's inauguration as the next US president on Jan. 20. Facebook said last week Trump's accounts would be locked for at least two weeks, but Twitter took the unprecedented step of permanently barring Trump from the platform "due to the risk of further incitement of violence." Twitter, which looked at the context of recent events, said two of Trump's most recent tweets violated its rules against glorifying violence. The social media site had previously locked Trump's account for violating its rules.

The rare move from Twitter has put more pressure on Facebook and other social networks to take the same step.

"Our ban's indefinite. We've said at least through the transition but we have no plans to lift it," Sandberg said via video at the Reuters Next conference. She then added Facebook has no plans to lift the ban "right now."

Despite blocking Trump's accounts indefinitely, Facebook has also faced criticism for taking action after violence broke out on Capitol Hill. Sandberg acknowledged there are people who say the company should have acted sooner while others say social networks went too far by blocking Trump.

"In this moment, the risk to our democracy was too big that we felt we had to take the unprecedented step of what is an indefinite ban and I'm glad we did," she said.

Sandberg said the company is open to more regulation, including from the new administration. She said she has no plans to leave the company and co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is also not "going anywhere."

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