Outgoing US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been ‘permanently suspended,’ with the company saying there was a risk of violence because of how his tweets were being “interpreted on- and off-platform.”
“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.”
These 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, saying they decided these messages amount to “glorification of violence.”
Trump attempted to circumvent his personal Twitter ban by tweeting via the official @POTUS handle, insisting he would not be “silenced” before the posts were immediately purged from the site.
“As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech, and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me – and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me.”
‘Support for those committing violent acts’
On January 8, 2021, Trump tweeted:
“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!!!”
“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,” Twiiter said.
Shortly thereafter, Trump tweeted:
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Trump’s refusal to attend the inauguration “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,” Twitter said.
The company also claimed there were “plans for future armed protests… including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021” and that Trump’s statements could be seen as support for these acts.
The company’s 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 encouragement to do so.”
Twitter locked Trump out from his account on Wednesday evening, after he posted a message calling for his supporters to peacefully disperse, saying that his reference to the “stolen” election was incitement of violence.
The suspension was reversed later that evening, as the president gave a concession speech committing to peacefully surrendering power to the Democrats on January 20.
Mainstream media outlets and the Democrats have accused Trump of “inciting insurrection” and “sedition” over Wednesday’s events, when a large number of his supporters peeled off from a rally in Washington, DC to storm the US Capitol while Congress was in session to certify Joe Biden’s election win.
It’s been coming…
Twitter first censored Trump in May, also citing the “glorification of violence” policy, when the president offered to send the National Guard to crack down on violent riots in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“We will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Trump had written.
After that, Twitter began tagging Trump’s posts protesting the potential for fraud in mail-in voting – which was the official conclusion of several US government commissions in years past – with a “pre-bunking” tag about how it was absolutely safe and secure.
Trump’s claims about election irregularities were likewise labeled as “disputed” by official sources such as media fact-checkers.
Already a prolific Twitter user before his 2015 announcement of presidential candidacy, Trump leveraged the social media platform to address Americans directly, bypassing mainstream media gatekeepers.
His surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, however, led to Democrats demanding a crackdown on “misinformation” on social media.