Twitter bans Trump, citing risk of incitement of violence
New York, January 9, 2021
Social media giant Twitter announced that it is banning US President Donald Trump from its platform, citing "risk of further incitement of violence". The Twitter ban comes two days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol, hoping to stop the certification of Joe Biden's election victory.
On Twitter, Donald Trump's handle is now an almost empty white canvas, frozen at 51 followed accounts, 88.7 million followers and two words on the center of screen saying "Account suspended".
"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 a statement.
In an "overview", Twitter called out two of Trump tweets from January 8 and then went on to explain the context of the ban.
The first tweet: "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 second tweet: "To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th."
Twitter explains that both these tweets need to be seen 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 behaviour from this account in recent weeks." Twitter justified the Trump ban saying its language went against "our Glorification of Violence policy".
Twitter reportedly picked up chatter on its platform of another possible attack being planned on the Capitol later this month, days before Inauguration day on January 20.
Late January 6, Trump was locked out of his account for 12 hours after a violent mob loyal to him stormed the US Capitol to try to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
On the same afternoon, Trump posted a video on Twitter calling his supporters "very special" people.
Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, are reported dead after the violence on January 6.