Twitter, Facebook lock Trump’s accounts after he responds to Capitol chaos with more false election claims

Twitter threatens to permanently suspend Trump’s account if posts aren’t deleted

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in support of Senate candidates Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and David Perdue in Dalton, Ga., Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) (Brynn Anderson, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Twitter is threatening to permanently suspend President Trump’s account after they removed posts he made addressing the pro-Trump rioters who stormed Capitol buildings in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

A mob of pro-Trump rioters invaded U.S. Capitol buildings on Jan. 6 as lawmakers met to certify an election win for Joe Biden. After President-elect Biden addressed the nation on live TV regarding the chaos, Trump shared a video himself on social media -- but that video has since been deleted by Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

In the video, Trump urged his supporters who were rioting in D.C. to “go home in peace,” but his message didn’t stop there. The president continued to falsely claim that the election was stolen from him. This claim has been disproven repeatedly by courts, through audits, recounts and by Trump’s own attorney general.

In a second tweet, Trump appeared to validate and excuse the actions of the rioters in Washington, alleging that this incident only occurred because the president’s “victory” was “unceremoniously” and “viciously stripped away” from him -- which, again, has been widely disproven by bipartisan election officials and members of the Trump Administration. President Trump did not win the 2020 election, and President-elect Biden will be sworn into office on Jan. 20.

Trump’s messages did not go far enough to appease lawmakers, who claim the president’s rhetoric in recent months incited the behavior seen at the Capitol buildings Wednesday.

Read: The Latest: Romney blames Trump for inciting ‘insurrection’

In response to Trump’s posts, Twitter officials have locked the president’s account for the next 12 hours as of 7:02 p.m. on Jan. 6. Twitter claims that the president violated their Civic Integrity policy that prohibits Twitter users from “manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes.”

“As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” the Twitter Safety account tweeted Wednesday.

Twitter is demanding that Trump remove tweets violating their policy within the 12-hour lockdown, or else they will permanently suspend his Twitter account.

Twitter initially left Trump’s video up on Wednesday, but blocked users from being able to retweet it or comment on it, while still allowing people to “quote tweet” it.

Later Wednesday evening, Facebook -- which also owns Instagram -- similarly announced that they will also lock President Trump’s account for 24 hours. The president will not be able to post to accounts on either platform during this “feature block.”

Facebook’s president of integrity Guy Rosen said that they removed Trump’s video on Wednesday because it “contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”


About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.