Social media giant Twitter has confirmed the account of US President Donald Trump has been permanently suspended after violating policies around the glorification of violence.
The move happened just days after Mr Trump was allowed back on the platform following a 12 hour lockdown.
Soon after however, he shared another Twitter tirade, where he announced he would not be attending Joe Biden’s Inauguration, making him the first outgoing president to do so since 1869.
“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!!!” he tweeted.
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
However after countless controversial tweets filled with varying levels of factual inaccuracy, outrage and offence (to put it lightly), it was those 313 characters which caused the social media giant to act.
WHY WAS DONALD TRUMP’S TWITTER DELETED?
Explaining the permanent suspension of Mr Trump’s account, Twitter said it was mainly due to fears his tweets would risk the “further incitement of violence”. The social media platform said his final tweets violated their Glorification of Violence policy which works to ensure content doesn’t inspire others to replicate violent acts. They said Mr Trump’s tweets were
“highly likely” to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts which took place in Washington DC and led to the death of five people.
Assessing exactly how Mr Trump’s final two tweets could have incited violence, the social media platform was particularly concerned over the President’s actions to not attend Mr Biden’s Inauguration.
“President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate,” read a blog post released by Twitter.
“The second tweet may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a ‘safe’ target, as he will not be attending.”
The statement from Twitter also said there was cause for concern as plans for “future armed protests” have already begun circulating on and off Twitter, including a “proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state Capitol buildings on January 17, 2021”.
Furthermore, Mr Trump’s repeated usage of the words “American Patriots” was also seen as giving support “for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol”. Phrases like giving his supporters a “GIANT VOICE long into the future” and that “they will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” is also potentially threatening language, says Twitter.
“(It’s) being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an ‘orderly transition’ and instead that he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election,” they wrote.
It’s also important to remember that Mr Trump’s account was placed in a 12-hour lockdown just two days ago. The move also saw Twitter remove three of Mr Trump’s tweets made during the riots. These included:
– A video in which Mr Trump repeatedly claimed that the election was stolen from him. In the video he also referenced the protesters saying: “We love you, you’re very special, you’ve seen what happens, you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel.”
– A tweet blasting Vice President Mike Pence for confirming that Joe Biden’s election victory
– Another tweet where he once again said he was “stripped” of his “landslide election”.
WHAT HAPPENS TO DONALD TRUMP’S TWITTER ACCOUNT NOW?
Despite the suspension, the President still managed to make a last-ditch effort to share one last Twitter rant. Briefly taking over the official @POTUS account, which has only been used for official government events, his four-tweet thread unsurprisingly blasted Twitter for “banning free speech” and conspiring with the “Democrats and the Radical Left” for silencing his voice.
Although the four-tweet thread was deleted almost immediately, he also hinted at a “big announcement” to come and said he was considering building his own platform.
“I predicted this would happen. We have begun 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!,” he tweeted.
“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.”
But with just 11 days left of his administration, calls for his immediate resignation, or more likely a forced removal through an impeachment or the 25 Amendment, what the President does next is anyone’s guess.