Twitter has permanently suspended the account of President Trump, after he repeatedly spread false claims about losing the election, and Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building.
The move is the conclusion of years of Trump being able to use the social network as a megaphone for dangerous conspiracy theories, targeted harassment, and incitement of violence. It comes after Facebook made a similar move earlier in the week, with Facebook “indefinitely” locking Trump’s account until at least the peaceful transfer of power is complete.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them—specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said in a statement posted to its website.
“In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open,” the statement added. However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.”
On Wednesday, Trump supporters rioted through the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to evacuate. In response, Trump uploaded a lackluster video in which he again repeated the false claim that the election was stolen from him and his supporters. He told the rioters they were “very special” and to “go home.”
Shortly after, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube removed the video itself.
“This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence,” Guy Rosen, VP of Integrity at Facebook, said in a tweet on Wednesday.
Facebook then blocked Trump’s account “indefinitely” and at least for the next two weeks until a peaceful transition of power is finalized.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg said in a post on his own Facebook profile.”
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