Law enforcement officials, lawmakers, and technology platforms announced a series of measures against individuals and businesses involved with last week’s attack on the US Capitol. Here’s an update on the developing story:
- The US attorney’s office in Washington DC has charged 57 people with a wide range of crimes including violent entry, assaulting a federal law enforcement officer, possessing illegal weapons, and threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Additional charges are expected in the coming days and at least 90 people have been arrested to date.
- House Democrats are expected to introduce articles of impeachment against President Trump this week. Democratic lawmakers have also called on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th amendment, which would allow Pence and a majority of the cabinet to remove President Trump from office.
- Apple and Google removed social media app Parler from their app stores and Amazon blocked the company from using its web services, citing violent content posted on the platform. Amazon’s decision effectively took the service offline, and Parler CEO John Matze said yesterday that the service will be down “longer than expected” as it seeks a new cloud hosting partner.
- Twitter permanently suspended President Trump’s account, citing “risk of further incitement of violence” (source). Several other social media and technology companies (including Facebook, Instagram, Shopify, and Stripe) took similar measures against President Trump, his campaign, and related accounts and websites.
More context: The bans come as social media and technology platforms face intense scrutiny over their content moderation practices. Critics of the recent actions have expressed concerns related to freedom of speech, while the companies have largely pointed to terms of service violations and the risk of inciting further violence when announcing their decisions. Here’s a list of companies that have taken action along with their comments.