(Pocket-lint) – In a remarkable move, Twitter has permanently banned US President Donald Trump.
The social network announced the decision days after a pro-Trump riot stormed the US Capitol Building on 6 January 2021, leaving five dead including a Capitol police officer. “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 on Friday.
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.https://t.co/CBpE1I6j8Y
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021
When the pro-Trump mobe broke into the US Capitol building on Wednesday, the rioters disrupted Congress’ certification of Joe Biden as the President-elect for hours. Twitter responded by temporarily banning the President’s account after he tweeted more lies about the election being stolen. Twitter found he “repeated severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” and it blocked his ability to tweet for 12 hours.
At the time, Twitter also warned President Trump that he could be permanently banned if he continued to violate its rules.
However, once he regained control of his account, he sent out more messages to confirm he will not attend the Inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. He even referred to his supporters as “American Patriots” in tweets. Some say pro-Trump supporters could view his tweets as a walk-back of his claims on Thursday, when he finally confirmed there would be an “orderly transition” of power on 20 January 2021.
The President specifically told his supporters on Friday 8 January 2021 they will have a “GIANT VOICE long into the future”, and they “will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” Some say his supporters could perceive these messages as a confirmation that the election was not legitimate, plus that he even admires them for committing violent acts at the US Capitol in his name.
As a result, Twitter surmised on Friday that the President’s latest tweets since regaining full control of his account were “highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts”. Here’s a portion of Twitter’s explanation, published in a blog post:
“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.”
Also on Friday, more than 300 Twitter employees signed onto an internal petition calling for President Trump to be permanently banned. “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, according to The Wall Street Journal.
As for other social networks, Facebook on Thursday put an “indefinite” ban on President Trump that could last through to Inauguration Day.
Writing by Maggie Tillman.