SILICON VALLEY, CA – Social media tech giant Twitter on Friday banned President Donald J. Trump’s personal account, deleted posts on the President’s official account and removed several accounts tied with the President and political campaign.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said. “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. 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.”
Twitter said Trump is guilty of using the platform to incite violence.
“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. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement,” the company said in a statement.
Twitter referenced several posts made by the President, including one that read, “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
Shortly thereafter, the President Tweeted:
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
“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,” Twitter said. “After assessing the language in these Tweets against our Glorification of Violence policy, we have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.”
In a release Twitter said the following:
We assessed the two Tweets referenced above under our Glorification of Violence policy, which aims to prevent the glorification of violence that could inspire others to replicate violent acts and determined that they were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
This determination is based on a number of factors, including:
- President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being 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 (1, 2) by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Dan Scavino, that there would be an “orderly transition” on January 20th.
- The second Tweet may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a “safe” target, as he will not be attending.
- 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 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.
- 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.
As such, our determination is that the two Tweets above are likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as an encouragement to do so.
Trump’s response to the ban was in classic Trump style.
After the ban, Trump used the “President Trump”, an official account to respond.
“As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech,” the President Tweeted. “and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats in the Radical Left in removing my account to silence me — and you, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me. Twitter may be a private company, but without the government’s gift of Section 230, they would not exist for long.”
Trump said he knew the Twitter ban hammer was dropping on him in recent weeks.
“I predicted this would happen,” he added We have been negotiating wit various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, also we will be looking at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future. We will not be SILENCED.”
Trump concluded, “Twitter is not about FREE SPEECH. They are all about promoting a radical left platform where some of the most vicious people in the world are allowed to speak freely…”
Twitter also banned the Team Trump account and the account of Trump’s digital media director Gary Coby on Friday.
Trump’s last post on Twitter was a red communist flag with a yellow Twitter logo instead of the trademark communist party hammer and sickle.