President Donald Trump's verified Twitter account has been permanently suspended following Wednesday's violent riot at the U.S. Capitol, in which his supporters stormed the building as lawmakers count the Electoral College votes certifying President-elect Joe Biden's November election win.
"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 social media platform announced on Friday.
"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," Twitter said in a statement. "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."
"However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement," the company said.
In a company blog post, Twitter cited two of Trump's Friday tweets as a "violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy," which included a declaration that he will not be attending Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.
According to Twitter, the statement could be "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 … by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Dan Scavino, that there would be an 'orderly transition' on January 20th."
The company argued that Trump's use of the phrase "American Patriots" in another recent tweet "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," the platform noted.
"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," according to the company.
The president's permanent suspension comes days after Twitter locked Trump's account for 12 hours, requiring the removal of three recent tweets "for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy." At the time, the company warned further violations of its policies "will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account."
"As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy," Twitter said. "This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked."
Twitter also announced earlier this week that it had removed Trump's video addressing the riots, in which called the rioters "very special" and doubled down on the baseless claims of election fraud.
Trump returned to Twitter on Thursday and reversed course on his previous stance, saying those same supporters did "not represent our country" in a recorded message shared on the platform.
"The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy," Trump said reading his speech from a teleprompter. "To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay."
In addition to Twitter's ban, Facebook announced on Thursday in a post by founder Mark Zuckerberg that Donald Trump would be banned "indefinitely" from its platforms following the rioting at the U.S. Capitol the president incited.
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