Twitter has permanently suspended President Trump from its platform, the company said Friday evening.
“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,” Twitter said.
“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.”
Twitter’s decision followed two tweets by Trump Friday afternoon that would end up being his last. The tweets violated the company’s policy against glorification of violence, Twitter said, and “these 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.”
The first tweet was about Trump’s supporters.
“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 indicated Trump did not plan to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Twitter said the tweet concerning inauguration could be viewed as a further statement that the election was not legitimate. It also said that the tweet could be interpreted as Trump saying that the inauguration would be a “safe” target for violence because he would not be attending.
In response, Trump accused Twitter of “banning free speech” in a tweet from the POTUS account, hours after he was banned from the platform.
It comes after Trump was similarly banned from Facebook and Instagram following riots at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jnr, posted a video on Facebook attacking the decision, saying it’s “the kinda stuff” that would make Chinese communist ruler Chairman Mao “really proud”.
“So if you guys haven’t noticed yet, Twitter permanently banned my father from its platform, so to speak, you know, it’s not a platform they can pretend it’s an open platform but obviously it’s not. I guess, someone told me, because he wasn’t gonna attend Joe Biden’s inauguration. I’m not sure what’s offensive about that but I guess they were just looking for any excuse.”
He continues for 10 minutes and 54 seconds, and in the comments section he asks people to go to his website and join the mailing list so they can “stay connected”.
Separately, Google has suspended the Parler social networking app, favoured by many pro-Trump supporters, from its Play Store because of posts inciting violence, with Apple threatening to follow suit.
In response to his ban, Trump posted a series of tweets from the @POTUS account accusing the company of going “further and further in banning free speech”.
The tweets were swiftly deleted but not before screengrabs were taken and circulated online.
The message continued: “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.”
He said he is considering building his own social media platform in the near future and finished the post saying “we will not be SILENCED!”
Twitter said the two messages “were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the US Capitol”.
Mr Trump has no plans to attend Mr Biden’s inauguration, making him the first president in more than 150 years – and just the fourth in US history – to miss the occasion.
Twitter initially suspended Mr Trump’s account for 12 hours on Wednesday after he posted a video that repeated false claims about election fraud and praised the rioters who stormed the Capitol.
It lead prominent Democrats to push for his removal from office early, under the 25th amendment.
Five people were killed in the violence, including police officer Brian Sicknick, who was seriously hurt “while physically engaging with protesters”.