WASHINGTON (AP) – Twitter banned United States (US) President Donald Trump’s account on Friday, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence” following the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
Twitter has long given Trump and other world leaders broad exemptions from its rules against personal attacks, hate speech and other behaviours. But in a detailed explanation posted on its blog on Friday, the company said recent Trump tweets amounted to glorification of violence when read in the context of the Capitol riot and plans circulating online for future armed protests around the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
The social platform has been under growing pressure to take further action against Trump following the Wednesday violence. On Thursday, Facebook suspended Trump’s account through January 20 and possibly indefinitely. Twitter merely suspended Trump’s account for 12 hours after he posted a video that repeated false claims about election fraud and praised the rioters who stormed the Capitol.
Trump’s Twitter persona has long functioned as a mix of policy announcements, complaints about the media; disparagement of women, minorities and his perceived enemies; and praise for his supporters, replete with exclamation marks, all-caps, and one-word declarations such as “Sad!”