A group of supporters of US President Donald Trump recently gathered on the social medium Parler.
The group made agreements there to storm the Capitol and called for violence, until Apple, Google and Amazon stopped this and the platform went black.
The limit seems to have been reached for tech companies, who are feeling increasing pressure to act against people who flout the rules, even if it is the president of the US.
On the day of the storm (last Wednesday), a video message from Trump caused his accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to be blocked.
In the video, Trump echoed earlier statements that the presidential election would have been unfair.
He also posted messages that could be seen as inflammatory.
The accounts were initially temporarily sidelined, but Trump is no longer welcome on Twitter.
For years, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter did not want to burn their fingers in the political debate.
Facebook director Mark Zuckerberg said in 2019 that Facebook was created to bring people together and give them a voice.
Companies like Apple and Google never took such a hard time against apps like Parler because they couldn't moderate what was shared by users on those platforms.
This kind of policy made it possible to spread disinformation without any problems.
Rules have always been there
However, the platforms were not free of rules;
For example, hate speech, bullying and incitement to violence had been banned for much longer.
Yet it turned out to be an exceptional position for world leaders.
In 2017, Trump tweeted about the North Korean Secretary of State speaking at the United Nations, "If he represents the thoughts of the little rocket man, they won't survive long."
Although the tweet was seen as a threat, Twitter considered the news value to be such that the message remained online.
In 2019, Facebook announced that it would not fact-check or block statements by politicians, because news value comes first.
In the run-up to the US presidential elections, companies decided to intervene at the end of last year.
In May, two tweets from Trump were labeled as potentially misleading.
The social network then called it its task to "find reliable information and stop the spread of potentially harmful and misleading reports".
Tech companies are waiting for the boundaries to be crossed
The storming of the Capitol seems like the last straw for tech companies.
After a warning from Twitter, Trump was later banned from the network.
Trump is not welcome on Facebook until further notice (but at least two weeks) and services such as Snap, TikTok and Twitch also handed out bans.
The policy of tech companies has therefore always been following.
Messages from Trump were first given an exceptional position, but later it turned out that there were also limits.
It can also be said that tech companies only dared to intervene when the end of Trump's term of office was approaching.
In any case, their role has changed for tech companies in recent years.
They are now the debate leader who intervenes when a discussion gets out of hand.