“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,” the company said in a blog post. “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. 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.”
Twitter’s move came two days after a mob of pro-Trump rioters breached the U.S. Capitol during the Electoral College’s certification of president-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. Five people, including one Capitol police officer, died due to the riot. The mob breached the Capitol shortly after Trump hosted a rally to protest Biden’s victory; Trump, who has baselessly claimed that the 2020 election was a “fraud,” vowed that “we will never concede” during the rally.
Twitter is the first social media company to permanently ban Trump from its platform.
Trump, who promoted a variety of conspiracy theories on social media during his four years in office, released several since-deleted videos on social media following the Wednesday riot where he praised the mob, which caused several social media platforms to temporarily suspend his account. Twitter and Facebook blocked Donald Trump’s account through the end of his presidency following the Wednesday riot at the Capitol. The block, which went into effect on Thursday, included the platforms Facebook and Instagram. Twitch.tv, the video game-oriented streaming service operated by Amazon, also disabled Trump’s account on Thursday.
Trump’s Twitter account was briefly reinstated on Thursday and the president tweeted a message denouncing the Capitol rioters and claimed he would support the transition of power on January 20. Trump walked back that message on Friday when he tweeted further encouragement to his supporters and stated that he would not attend Biden’s inauguration.
Various Hollywood celebrities, including “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen, criticized Trump following the Wednesday riot at the Capitol; Cohen called for a complete banning of Trump from social media platforms after the U.S. president “incited a violent attack on American democracy.”
Twitter’s ban of Trump caused several accounts on Parler, the social media app favored by far-right extremists and other conservatives, to threaten violence. Apple has threatened to ban Parler from its app store if the social media platform does not institute a moderation policy.