Twitter and Facebook lock Donald Trump accounts after posts to rioting supporters

Twitter has locked Donald Trump’s account for the first time and threatened him with “permanent suspension” from the platform.

It comes after the site demanded he remove tweets excusing violence after his supporters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday

The site had earlier removed the retweet, like and reply functions on a video in which Mr Trump addressed his supporters who had clashed with police in Washington DC forcing a lockdown at the US Capitol building.

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One of the videos that saw sanctions brought against Mr Trump’s social media accounts

In the video, the president told protesters that they “have to go home now”, adding “we don’t want anybody hurt”, but he also claimed that “this was a fraudulent election”.

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

“This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.

“Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”

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Twitter had earlier added a warning to the video, which read: “This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this tweet can’t be replied to, retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.”

We’ve assessed two policy violations against President Trump’s Page which will result in a 24-hour feature block, meaning he will lose the ability to post on the platform during that time.

— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) January 7, 2021

Meanwhile, Facebook announced it had assessed “two policy violations against President Trump’s Page”.

The company tweeted: “This will result in a 24-hour feature block, meaning he will lose the ability to post on the platform during that time.”

Earlier, the platform’s vice president of integrity Guy Rosen, tweeted that Mr Trump’s initial video had been removed entirely from their platform.

“This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video,” he tweeted.

“We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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