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Facebook Puts Foot Down, Russia Today Blocked Until Day After Trump Is Inaugurated

By Edge Ison , Jan 20, 2017 01:52 AM EST
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Facebook has blocked RT or what was formerly and more popularly known as Russia Today.

The English news outlet which is backed by Russia is banned from posting anything - photos, videos, and news articles - during the inauguration of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump. The ban will carry over to the next day after Trump is finally sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

The Facebook ban is the result of a complaint received by the popular social network platform regarding copyright issues on a video stream of outgoing president Barrack Obama's press conference. The video stream in question was shown on RT's Facebook page last Wednesday.

Facebook has enacted a ban that was supposed to last for 72 hours. The ban would have been lifted on Saturday at exactly 7:25 pm GMT. RT, however, reported that it was granted the ability to post images, videos, and live streams again after about 20 hours of being banned.

The inauguration itself will be held on Friday, Jan. 20, but festivities will start on Thursday, Jan. 19. During the festivities, there will be a Voices of the People event to be held at the Lincoln Memorial at exactly 10:35 an ET followed by a private wreath-laying ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery. At 4 p.m. ET, celebrities, and musicians will entertain the crowd at the Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration which will be held at the Lincoln Memorial.

The inauguration ceremony will officially start at 11:30 a.m. ET the next day at the Capitol building, particularly on the west side. A luncheon and the Inaugural Parade will follow. At 7 p.m. ET, the Official Presidential Inaugural Balls will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center while the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball will occur at the National Building Museum.

The festivities end the next day, Jan. 21, with the Interfaith Prayer Service at 10 a.m. at Washington National Cathedral.

RT confirmed the Facebook ban via a tweet and is questioning the decision. RT Editor-in-Chief Margaret Simonyan expressed in an interview that it "seems strange" that Facebook and two other social networks along with a number of American TV stations are "trying to portray [RT] as rights and freedom stranglers and propagandists".

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