Following a wave of social media bans and suspensions from services like Facebook and Twitch, Twitter has now announced that it has permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s account @realDonaldTrump.
In a statement on its official blog, Twitter announced, “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.”
If you go to Twitter right now and search for the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account, you will be greeted with the grayed-out “Account suspended” notification.
Twitter added, “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.” The company added that accounts such as Donald Trump’s “are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things.”
Specifically, Twitter cited two tweets from Trump on January 8, 2021. The first reads:
“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 diresepcted or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
as well as a follow-up tweet from Trump in which he announced he will not attend President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
Twitter previously suspended Donald Trump’s Twitter account following the attack on Capitol Hill by Trump supporters on Wednesday, but that was only a 12-hour ban. However, as more details from the attack are released, Twitter has now permanently suspended Trump’s account.
Other social media services like Facebook and Instagram, as well as Twitch, have suspended or disabled Trump’s official accounts at least until the U.S. Presidential inauguration on January 20. Twitch has similarly cited the risk of further violence as a reason for suspending Trump’s Twitch account.
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
Update 1/8/21 4:45 pm PT: According to The Verge, if Trump were to use Twitter through a government account like @POTUS, Twitter will try and limit the account’s use. If Trump tries to create a separate account then that account will be permanently suspended “at first detection.”
Update 2 4:56 pm PT: According to reporters at The New York Times Parler, a microblogging platform particularly popular with Donald Trump supporters, has been removed from the Google Play Store. Apple has also reportedly told Parler to begin moderating its users within 24 hours or risk being removed from the App Store.
Update 3 1/9/21 6:13 pm PT: As reported by BuzzFeed News, Parler has been removed from the Apple’s App Store and Amazon has kicked it off its Web hosting services.
Apple said in a statement that “Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues.”
Amazon’s ban, on the other hand, will take place on Sunday, January 10, and if Parler does not find another host, it will go offline. BuzzFeed News obtained an e-mail from Amazon Web Services (AWS) Trust and Safety team to Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff explaining the decision.
“Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms,” an e-mail obtained by BuzzFeed News read. “It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service,” the email reads. “[W]e cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others,” the email reads. “Because Parler cannot comply with our terms of service and poses a very real risk to public safety, we plan to suspend Parler’s account effective Sunday, January 10th, at 11:59PM PST.”
On January 6, 2021, during a meeting with both houses of the legislature to certify the results of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, a riot broke out as Trump supporters stormed and briefly overtook the US Capitol buildings. Members of the Senate and Congress were forced to flee or hide for safety.
Since then, it has been revealed that four rioters died as well as one police officer. The riot is currently being investigated.
It should be noted the official @POTUS Twitter account is still active but will be reverted to Biden’s team on January 20.
Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)