US President Donald Trump delivers a speech the day after his supporters stormed the US Capitol in Washington, USA, in this still image taken from a video posted on social media on January 8, 2021.
Donald J. Trump via Twitter | Reuters
Twitter finally blocked President Donald Trump’s account on Friday.
The company said in a tweet it made the decision “because of the risk of further inciting violence”.
The decision came after Facebook made a similar call and extended an initial 24-hour ban to an indefinite one, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg said would last at least until the end of Trump’s tenure.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump first witnessed temporary bans from both platforms on Jan. 6 amid an uproar that saw his supporters storm the U.S. Capitol while lawmakers proceeded with the formality of counting the electoral college’s votes. Many lawmakers, and even former members of the Trump administration, criticized Trump for encouraging his supporters to reject the election results and protest in the Capitol. Congress later confirmed Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
As the uprising unfolded, Trump tweeted messages encouraging non-violence, although he later posted a video message that also reiterated his unsubstantiated claim that the election had been stolen from him and told the rioters, “We love you.”
Twitter initially blocked some of Trump’s tweets from the public on Wednesday and requested that he delete them in order to regain access to his account. Once deleted, it was banned from the account for another 12 hours. However, Twitter warned that future policy violations would result in Trump’s account being permanently banned.
In his first tweet after returning to Twitter on Jan. 7, Trump posted a video message calling for calm and coming closest to a concession speech he’s made so far. He said there would be a transition to a new administration. Still, he said to the followers: “Our incredible journey is just beginning.”
The suspensions of Facebook and Twitter represent a big change for the companies that have so far avoided charging Trump’s accounts so drastically. Executives at both companies have been heavily criticized for unfairly treating Trump and other Conservative accounts, which both have denied.
Now the role of the platform in maintaining the messages of the president and his supporters who planned the uprising is under public scrutiny.
This story evolves. Check for updates again.
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