In a major move against a sitting U.S. president, Twitter today announced that it has permanently suspended the account of Donald Trump. The suspension comes after a violent protest at Capitol buildings on January 6.
Twitter said in a blog post that the President's account, @realDonaldTrump, has been banned for good "due to the risk of further incitement of violence". The social networking company explained that it reviewed Trump's recent tweets based on the context around "how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter".
In the aftermath of the violence that unfolded at Capitol Hill, Twitter suspended Trump's account for 12 hours and required him to remove his three tweets that were seen as promoting or glorifying the insurrectionist attack on the Hill. The suspension ended on Thursday, after which Trump returned to the micro-blogging site on Friday and 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!!!”
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Twitter noted that the 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." Several factors have been taken into consideration before Twitter kicked Trump out of its platform forever. The service explained that his refusal to attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, set to take place on January 20, as having "being received by some of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate".
In addition, Twitter also sees Trump's use of the words “American Patriots” as an act of support for those who stormed the Hill. In general, his tweets are viewed as inciting others "to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021". The service determined that these tweets violated its Glorification of Violence Policy, thus the permanent suspension.
This is the latest ban that the U.S. President has received from a social media platform since Wednesday. Facebook also previously blocked Trump's account until Biden takes office along with Instagram, Twitch, and Snapchat.