Twitter Permanently Suspends Trump's Account, Cites 'Incitement of Violence' Risk

Reuters
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Image shows the suspended Twitter account of President Donald Trump, January 8, 2021.
Image shows the suspended Twitter account of President Donald Trump, January 8, 2021.Credit: AP
Reuters

Twitter Inc said on Friday that it has permanently suspended U.S. President Donald Trump's account due to the risk of further incitement of violence following the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday by hundreds of his supporters.

"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," the company said in a tweet.

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Twitter later deleted new tweets posted by Trump on official government account @POTUS and suspended the account of his presidential campaign.

Trump tweeted "We will not be SILENCED!" from the @POTUS government account, with 33.4 million followers.

The company said accounts used by Trump to try to get around the ban could face permanent suspension as well under its "ban evasion" policies.

"Twitter is not about FREE SPEECH," Trump wrote in the now-deleted tweets, adding that he is considering building his own social media platform in the near future.

Twitter shut down his @TeamTrump campaign account shortly after it sent out a tweet with a "statement from President Trump" accusing Twitter of "banning free speech" and coordinating with "the Democrats and the Radical Left" to silence him.

Social media companies have cracked down on Trump's accounts in the wake of the turmoil on Wednesday. Facebook Inc said earlier this week it was suspending his account through until at least the end of his presidential term.

The Republican president is due to hand over to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.

The White House did not immediately comment.

In a blog post on Friday, Twitter said that two of the president's tweets posted that day were in violation of its policy against the glorification of violence.

Twitter had temporarily blocked Trump's account, which had more than 88 million followers, on Wednesday following the siege of Capitol Hill, and warned that additional violations by the president's accounts would result in a permanent suspension.

Trump was required to delete three rule-breaking tweets before his account was unblocked. He returned to Twitter on Thursday with a video acknowledging that Biden would be the next U.S. president.

Twitter said that Trump's tweet that he would not be attending Biden's inauguration was being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the November 3 election that he lost was not legitimate.

It said another tweet praising "American Patriots" and saying his supporters "will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!" could be seen as "further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an orderly transition."

Trump's personal @realDonaldTrump account has sometimes fired off more than 100 tweets a day and been used to communicate with his supporters, spread misinformation, insult opponents and fire staff.

Both Twitter and Facebook have long afforded Trump special privileges as a sitting elected world leader, saying that tweets that may violate the company's policies would not be removed because they were in the public interest.

They said he would lose access to those privileges upon leaving office, however.

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