TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - After a 12-hour suspension, the president is back on Twitter. The company locked President Donald Trump's account Wednesday after he shared a video message in which he called violent rioters at the U.S. Capitol "really special." His official Facebook account will be suspended for the rest of his presidency.

With the violence of Jan. 6 came swift action from some of the most powerful people in the world -- not presidents or lawmakers, but social media CEOs. Though Twitter and Facebook had already been flagging false or misleading posts from President Trump, the account suspensions came when he didn't seem to make a strong push to call off the rioters.

"There's definitely an impact of a company putting a label or suspending the account," said computer scientist Nadya Bliss. "I will say that this is just the beginning of the mitigation strategy."

Bliss, who is the executive director of the Global Security Initiative at ASU, says as social platforms have gotten more and more nefarious actors who lead people astray, the tech companies themselves have started monitoring the accuracy of information more carefully.

"It essentially has been a crisis that has been brewing over quite a few years," she said.

Twitter allowed the president's return to tweeting after his account deleted three problematic tweets, and after 12 hours had passed. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, though, won't let the president use that platform for 14 days, saying the president "clearly intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power."

"Words matter," Bliss said. "And they specifically matter when people that have a significant following are spreading information that is not accurate or fact-checked."

While some might call it censorship, Bliss says the suspensions are all about safety.

"If we're not allowed to scream 'fire' in a crowded movie theater, we should not be allowed to incite violence on social networks. That seems consistent," she said.

 

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