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Twitter permanently bans Trump account

Dharvi Vaid
January 9, 2021

Twitter has permanently suspended President Donald Trump's account after the violence at the Capitol building. The company cited the risk of further incitement in its decision.

USA Symbolbild Trump Twitter
Twitter said Trump's account was suspended "due to the first of future incitement of violence"Image: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/picture-alliance

Twitter has announced it is permanently suspending President Donald Trump's personal account, @realDonaldTrump, and the @TeamTrump campaign account following the Capitol violence.

Twitter said late on Friday night that it was banning Trump's account "due to the risk of further incitement of violence."

"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 said in a statement

Trump calls suspension a ban on free speech

Trump tried to bypass the ban on Friday night by tweeting from @POTUS, the official US government account for the country’s leader.

Trump took to the official @POTUS account to accuse Twitter of "trying to silence me."

"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," he said.

The tweets were subsequently deleted as Twitter does not allow using another account to evade a suspension.

Twitter's decision comes hours after Trump gained access to his Twitter account after being temporarily suspended from the microblogging site on Thursday. The permanent ban keeps the president from using what was one of his most-common means of directly addressing the public and making policy as well as personal statements.

According to the Twitter statement, on Friday Trump 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!!!"

This was followed by another tweet, where he announced that he will not attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.  

"To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th."

Twitter said it is suspending the account, which had more than 88 million followers, over violation of its policy against the glorification of violence. 

"After assessing the language in these Tweets against our Glorification of Violence policy, we have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.

Trump also banned on Facebook

Trump was also "indefinitely" banned from Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram on Thursday, with the pressure building on social media platforms to ban the outgoing president. 

The call follows Wednesday's US Capitol storming, which saw pro-Trump supporters disrupting a joint congressional session in Washington DC to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's 2020 election win.

Whether to address matters of diplomacy or scathing attacks on rivals, Trump has used social media as his bull-horn throughout his presidency. 

Social media continues purge

Google suspended alt-right social networking service, Parler, from its Play Store late on Friday evening over posts that could further fuel violence, according to reports by Politico and The New York Times.

The suspension comes as tech giant Apple also mulls a ban on Parler.

Apple has reportedly given Parler 24 hours to implement a plan to fully moderate its platform, failing which it could face an ouster from Apple's App Store.

According to BuzzFeed News, Apple wrote to Parler over complaints that the service had been used to plan and coordinate the Capitol storming.

Earlier on Friday, Twitter also permanently evicted former Trump aides Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell for pushing far-right conspiracy theories and QAnon's content.

"Given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content," Twitter said.

Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser and Sidney Powell, an ex-Trump campaign lawyer, have both raised doubts over the president’s defeat. 

Reactions to ban

While many on Twitter celebrated the ban, Donald Trump, Jr., lashed out at Twitter over the suspension of his father's account, saying "free speech no longer exists" in the country.

He said Trump's account was banned while dictatorial regimes are allowed to have a presence on Twitter, "with no issue despite threatening genocide to entire countries."

Jason Miller — a senior adviser to Trump and the chief spokesperson for his 2016 presidential campaign — called Twitter "disgusting" in a tweet addressed to the platform's co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey.