Twitter banned United States President Donald Trump from its social media platform several days before San Francisco police stationed officers outside of the company’s headquarters on Monday for a possible pro-Trump demonstration, citing the risks of protestors after the U.S. Capitol siege.
Possible Raid at Twitter HQ
A San Francisco Police Department spokesperson said they were aware of the possibility that a protest might happen on the 1300 block of Market Street. Authorities coordinated with the tech company’s officials and allocated sufficient resources to handle potential demonstrations across the city.
Since the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, Twitter’s employees have been working from home. A spokesperson said the company’s top priority was ensuring its staff’s safety.
“While we respect people’s right to express their views, we’ve been transparent about the factors leading up to our decision last week,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.
Authorities did not provide information if they had sources indicating a possible protest in the area or how many planned to attend. Officials said talking about police planning, strategy, and tactics was against their policies and regulations.
Several posts from users on the independent far-right internet forum “TheDonald.win,” which is the acclaimed successor of Reddit’s banned r/The_Donald community, urged Trump supporters to come together on Monday and storm Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco.
One user’s post on Saturday advised fellow supporters to bring equipment to make noise, wear body cameras, and bring zip ties they would use for “citizen arrest violent agitators.” Others also recommended the use of masks, sunglasses, and MAGA hats to hide their identities during the protest.
Regular Working Hours
On Sunday, other businesses near Twitter’s headquarters said they would continue to operate within normal business hours on Monday. The coronavirus pandemic has also forced the closure of the San Francisco City Hall, except for one entrance, which has been kept open for some city employees that still go to work.
Twitter officials argued that they suspended @realDonaldTrump, the president’s social media handler, due to multiple violations of the company’s community rules. Additionally, authorities are avoiding what potential violence Trump’s future posts could cause.
“Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. 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,” Twitter said on Friday in a blog post.
A large group of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after President Trump’s urges, illegally breaching the building’s security perimeters. Authorities noted that the protesters looted properties found inside and left five people dead, one of whom was a Capitol police officer.
Officials continued to arrest individuals believed to have been involved in the siege even after they have dispersed, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
President Trump’s legacy as the country’s leader was most notable for his frequent complaints on Twitter and his continuous insult of political and social enemies. The Republican businessman has also used social media to endorse political allies and announce the firing of personnel from his administration.
Political science professor from UC Berkeley’s School of Information, Steven Weber, credited Trump for his use of the social media platform to get the heads up on his opposition to rally more supporters. He added the most ruthless individuals use technology most efficiently.