Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center has tried to falsely impugn social media platforms with its wildly dishonest claim that Donald Trump was banned from those platforms because he called for "peace" during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, while ignoring the fact that Trump helped to incite that riot. Believe it or not, the MRC has never stopped making that claim since we last reported on it in June.
Kayla Sargent wrote in a June 2 post that "Trump was banned from at least 10 platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Stripe, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and even Shopify, after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in which the former president called for 'peace.'" That slippery wording doesn't come out and directly make the false claim, but it's heavily implied there's a linkage that doesn't actually exist.A June 3 post by Casey Ryan, however, actually said the lie: "Before his ban, Trump had the biggest megaphone calling out Big Tech’s hypocrisy, and Facebook suspended him after he called for peace following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot."
Sargent compounded the lie in a June 4 post written with Michael Morris attacking Facebook VP Nick Clegg for keeping its ban on Trump: "The platform, in continuing to censor Trump, absurdly concluded that it is still convinced Trump’s calls for 'peace' during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol constituted a “risk to public safety.” Clegg said in the Facebook statement: “Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump’s suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols.” In fact, nowhere in Clegg's statement does he reference Trump calling for "peace" as the reason he was suspended.
A June 5 post by Autumn Johnson declared that "At the beginning of the year, Twitter suspended then-President Trump after he called for peace in the wake of the deadly riots at the Capitol. Sargent repeated her bogus boilerplace in a June 8 post, claiming that "Donald Trump was suspended from at least 10 platforms following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after he called for 'peace.'" Sargent made a similar claim on June 11: "Twitter removed former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after he called for 'peace.'" Sargent returned to her full boilerplate in a June 15 post: "Former President Donald Trump was banned from 10 platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Stripe, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and even Shopify, following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after he called for 'peace.'"
Alexander Hall similarly wrote on July 7: "Trump was banned from at least nine other platforms after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, during which the former President called for 'peace,'" which was copied nearly word-for-word in a post by Sargent the same day, as well as a post on July 8. On July 12, Sargent stated that "YouTube, along with at least nine other platforms, banned Trump after he called for 'peace' following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. She declared on July 14 that "Former President Donald Trump was also banned from at least 10 platforms after he called for 'peace' following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol," repeating the statement in a July 15 post.
Ryan returned in a Sept. 3 post to take the lie further:
Twitter banned Trump after he called for peace following the Capitol riot in January. In a tweet, Twitter Safety appeared to falsely accuse Trump of inciting violence: “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” The platform has not allowed him back on since.
In fact, it's been amply demonstrated that Trump played a major role in inciting the riot.
Hall tried to forward the bogus narrative again in an Oct. 29 post complaining that Facebook has a history of sabotaging conservative politicians.
Facebook suspended then-President Trump indefinitely, even as he called for peace amidst the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Trump assured his supporters, “I know your pain. I know your hurt,” but told them “you have to go home now. We have to have peace.” President Trump also said he agreed the election was “fraudulent,” but warned, “we can’t play into the hands of these people.” Zuckerberg declared on Jan. 7 that blocking Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram would be extended indefinitely, as “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”
That's a highly selective reading of Trump's words, ignoring the part where he incited the riot and also encouraged the rioters by saying, "We love you. You're very special," and falsely claimed that "We had an election that was stolen from us."
Another MRC writer, Catherine Salgado, pushed the bogus boilerplate in a Nov. 2 post, stating that "Trump was also banned from at least 10 platforms after he called for “peace” following the Capitol 'riot.'" She didn't explain why she put scare quote around "riot," though elsewhere in her post she referred to the riot only as "the events of January 6th."