Days after a mob of Pro-Trump supporters organized a protest at the US Capitol, leaving 5 dead, Twitter officially banned Donald Trump from its platform.
“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,” Twitter said in a statement Friday.
The ban comes after the president encouraged the protestors that broke into the US Capitol building, interrupting Congress’ certification of Joe Biden as the President Elect.
Initially, Twitter has only banned Trump’s account for 12 hours, citing “repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy” after he posted messages that the election was a lie and was stolen. Following the 12-hour ban, Twitter stated that Trump would be banned permanently if he continues to violate the platform’s rules, including civic integrity or violent threats.
Trump’s tweet on Friday violated Twitter’s rules, resulting in permanent suspension.
“Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks,” Twitter said in its Friday blog.
Twitter has deemed Trump’s tweets as “highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts” at the Capitol, and shared its reasoning in five parts:
President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate and is seen as him disavowing his previous claim made via two Tweets (1, 2) by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Dan Scavino, that there would be an “orderly transition” on January 20th.
The second Tweet may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a “safe” target, as he will not be attending.
The use of the words “American Patriots” to describe some of his supporters is also being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol.
The mention of his supporters having a “GIANT VOICE long into the future” and that “They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” is being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an “orderly transition” and instead that he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election.
Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.
If Trump were to use another account to avoid the ban, Twitter stated that it would be permanently banned at first detection.
Earlier Friday, more than 300 employees signed into an internal petition, calling for the suspension of Trump’s Twitter account, following the January 6th Capitol riots.
“We must examine Twitter’s complicity in what President-Elect Biden has rightly termed insurrection. Those acts jeopardize the wellbeing of the United States, our company, and our employees,” the employees wrote in the letter.
Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also stated that the risks “are simply too great” to allow Trump continued access after he used the platform to “incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government” as the platform put an indefinite ban on him.