In an unprecedented move, Twitter and Facebook have suspended President Donald Trump’s accounts after he continued to push conspiracy theories about the November 3 election following the storming of the US Capitol by his supporters.
Twitter suspended Trump’s account for 12 hours and also blocked three of his tweets including a video of his address to his supporters.
“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 said.
“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,” said the social media company.
Twitter also warned of permanent suspension of Trump’s account if he continued to violate its policies.
“Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account,” it said.
“Our public interest policy — which has guided our enforcement action in this area for years — ends where we believe the risk of harm is higher and/or more severe,” it said, adding that it will continue to evaluate the situation in real-time, including examining activity on the ground and statements made off Twitter.
“We will keep the public informed, including if further escalation in our enforcement approach is necessary,” it said.
Facebook said it would be blocking the president’s account from posting for 24 hours due to two policy violations.
One of Trump’s tweets that was removed by Twitter included a video of him repeating unfounded claims that the election was taken from him and encouraging his supporters to disperse after violence erupted at the Capitol.
He said that law and order were needed and that he loved his supporters.
Facebook and YouTube have removed the video from Trump’s accounts.
Trump posted that video after protesters entered the Capitol, interrupting lawmakers meeting in joint session to confirm the Electoral College results and President-elect Joe Bidens victory in the election.
“I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it–especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order,” Trump said in his video that lasted for less than a minute.
“This was a fraudulent election but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace, so go home. 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. But go home and go home in peace,” Trump said.
Trump has refused to concede the election. He alleges that there was a massive fraud and electoral malpractice. Election officials have denied the allegations.
Facebook’s vice president integrity Guy Rosen said: “This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.” In a blog post on October 15, 2019, Twitter said that the accounts of world leaders are not above its policies entirely.
It listed out areas that will result in enforcement action for an account on its service.
Prominent among them include the promotion of terrorism, clear and direct threats of violence against an individual, posting private information, such as a home address or non-public personal phone number; and posting or sharing intimate photos or videos of someone that were produced or distributed without their consent.