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Twitter announced Friday it had decided to permanently suspend President Donald Trump‘s personal account, @realDonaldTrump, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
“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,” a post from Twitter Safety read.
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
The post continues: “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 and cannot use Twitter to incite violence. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement,” it concludes.
The company cited two of the president’s tweets from Friday as the reason for the permanent suspension: one in which he announced he would not be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20 and a second where he praised his supporters as “great American Patriots” who will not be “disrespected or treated unfairly,” just days after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, leaving five people dead.
“Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, 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 company said.
The move comes after hundreds of Twitter employees demanded in a letter this week that the platform permanently suspend the president’s account because of his posts about the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
“Despite our efforts to serve the public conversation, as Trump’s megaphone, we helped fuel the deadly events of January 6th,” roughly 350 Twitter employees wrote in a letter to the company’s top executives, according to the Washington Post.
“We request an investigation into how our public policy decisions led to the amplification of serious anti-democratic threats. We must learn from our mistakes in order to avoid causing future harm,” they added.
Ahead of the permanent suspension, Twitter had locked the president out of his account for the first time this week, requiring that he delete tweets he posted about the chaos at the Capitol before waiting 12 hours to regain access. The platform then warned the president it would suspend him if he continued to break its rules.