VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — U.S. President Donald Trump’s Twitter account is offline for good after the social media company reviewed his posts and deemed they pose a risk “to further incite violence.”
Twitter banned the outgoing president’s account Friday afternoon, saying it had made it clear two days before, during the riots at the U.S. Capitol, that it would take further action if the platform’s rules were violated.
The company said it looked at the context of Trump’s tweets and how they’ve been received.
BREAKING: Twitter Safety is confirming that U.S. President Donald Trump's account is now permanently suspended. DETAILS HERE: https://t.co/ObR9NWCLW1
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) January 8, 2021
“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,” reads a release from Twitter. “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.”
Earlier Friday, Trump tweeted he would not be attending President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, which Twitter has found is being considered by some of Trump’s supporters as confirmation the election wasn’t legitimate, despite all evidence against the claim.
“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 release continues. “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.”
— Peter Wagner (@peterjontheair) January 8, 2021
The company points out, “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.”
Twitter said its policy enables world leaders to speak to the public, but that these accounts “are not above our rules entirely” and can’t use Twitter to incite violence. Trump had roughly 89 million followers.
Account suspensions after Capitol riots
Twitter suspended Trump’s account for 12 hours after it had to take down three of his tweets for the same reason following Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol. One of the tweets that day included a video message posted as his supporters stormed the Capitol building.
In the pre-taped video, Trump told supporters the election was stolen from them but also asked them to go home.
“I know your pain. I know your hurt. But you have to go home now,” he said. “We can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special.”
Facebook and Instagram suspended his accounts on those platforms for the remainder of his presidency.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday, “The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.”
-with files from the Associated Press.