Social platforms flex their power by locking down Trump accounts

Citing fears of further violence, social media platforms are temporarily blocking posts by Donald Trump. The most drastic move came from Mark Zuckerberg who announced Facebook and Instagram would lock Trump's accounts indefinitely. 

Zuckererg says the risks of allowing him to post are "simply too great."

"It is a bold move. Some would say too little too late. But I would say better late than never to realize that these are provocative. They're incendiary posts and they have consequences. It's not just about free speech, it's about yelling fire in a crowded theater," says tech analyst Larry Magid.

Or in this case, adding fuel to a fiery situation at the capitol.

Tech experts say that was the last straw.

"I think a line was crossed yesterday. We can all agree that when your speech is inciting people to insurrection, that your microphone should be pulled," says Matt Cabot, an associate Professor at San Jose State University who focuses on social media.

And they're not alone. Snapchat and Twitch have locked Trump's accounts.

Twitter did too, but only for a 12 hour period that's already ended.

"I think there's going to be bipartisan support for yanking or locking down the President's account. Conservatives do not want the government overthrown," says Cabot.

But on social media, there is plenty of support for Trump too. Comments call this "censorship," and say "you and your techies should not be influencing our democracy."

Experts fear this move will send them and Trump to more extreme platforms with fewer rules.

"I think it has happened. Trump has already promoted Parler. And there are many many people that were using Facebook and Twitter and are now on Parler because parler allows them to do pretty much anything they want to do," says Magid.

For now Trump's banishment from mainstream platforms is temporary. And while it may be the most high profile example, experts say these companies have long banned violent speech.

"Whether it's coming from extremists from the middle east or white supremacists or any other people who are threatening the lives and safety of others. They've just decided to apply this to the President of the United States and that's what's unprecedented," says Magid.

While it could last longer, Trump will be blocked on Facebook and Instagram for at least the next two weeks until the transfer of power is complete.