Twitter has taken the unprecedented step of permanently shutting down President Donald Trump’s official account.
The social media platform previously banned the President for 12 hours after he posted an alarming tweet to his more than 88 million followers as his supporters violently stormed the US Capitol.
Trump came under fire for describing rioters as “special” as they tore through US Congress, smashing windows and destroying offices spurred on by endless tweets from the President’s baseless claims of electoral fraud.
Trump ‘permanently suspended’ from Twitter
Twitter posted the announcement they were banning Trump’s account permanently, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence” as the reason for Trump’s account termination.
"After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence," the company said in a tweet on Friday.
The President previously relied on White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino to release statements after he was temporarily banned from the social media platform.
After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.https://t.co/CBpE1I6j8Y
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021
Unlike previous Presidents who have official social media accounts archived and maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration after their term in office ends, Trump’s twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, has been completely erased.
The official US government account, @POTUS, reserved for current Presidents remains active however the President usually reserved his statements for his now banned account.
Trump’s final tweets
In a lengthy explanation posted on its blog Friday, Twitter said recent Trump tweets amounted to glorification of violence when read in the context of the Capitol riot and plans circulating online for future armed protests around the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
In his final tweets, Trump stated he will not be attending the inauguration and referred to his “75,000,000” supporters as "great American Patriots", saying they will “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” and will have "a GIANT VOICE long into the future".
“They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” Trump wrote.
Twitter said these statements "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".
Facebook said earlier this week it was suspending Trump's account through until at least the end of his presidential term.
He is due to hand over to President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.
Trump will launch his own Twitter
Hours after Trump’s account was deleted, the President reportedly returned to Twitter through the account @TeamTrump, claiming in a statement that he would not be silenced and had plans to build his own social media platform.
“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,” the statement said.
“I predicted this would happen. We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future. We will not be SILENCED!
“Twitter is not about FREE SPEECH. They are all about promoting a Radical Left platform where some of the most vicious people in the world are allowed to speak freely. STAY TUNED!”
The account was promptly deleted by Twitter.
Asked if Trump could create another account, a Twitter spokeswoman said if the company had reason to believe he was using accounts to evade Friday's suspension, those accounts too could be suspended.
The president's son Donald Trump Jr in a tweet on Friday decried the ban, saying dictators who had threatened genocide continued to have Twitter accounts. He did not provide names.
So the ayatollah, and numerous other dictatorial regimes can have Twitter accounts with no issue despite threatening genocide to entire countries and killing homosexuals etc... but The President of the United States should be permanently suspended.
Mao would be proud.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 9, 2021
‘A very dangerous person’
The President has under two weeks left in office before Joe Biden is inaugurated, however there have been public calls for the removal of Trump with top two Democrats describing the President as “dangerous”.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer both said Vice President Mike Pence should invoke the 25th amendment of the US Constitution to remove him from office before then.
If not, they said Congress should move quickly to expel him through the impeachment process.
Pelosi described Trump as “a very dangerous person who should not continue in office”.
The White House did not immediately comment on Twitter’s unprecedented move.
with AP and AAP
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