Twitter has taken the unprecedented step of locking US President Donald Trump‘s account after he shared messages of support for the “great patriots” who stormed the US Capitol building this morning.
The social media platform today hid three recent posts from the US President, including a video which falsely claimed the November 2020 election was “stolen” in a “landslide”.
Separately, Trump tweeted that “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots”.
Twitter said the tweets, backdropped by an “unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C.”, severely violated its civic integrity policy.
Trump’s account will be locked for twelve hours after the tweets’ removal, the platform said. His account will “remain locked” should they remain online, even in hidden form.
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.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 7, 2021
Twitter added that further breaches of its code “will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”
If that comes to pass, it would be the first time since a rogue Twitter employee temporarily suspended Trump’s account in 2017 that the US President would be barred from firing off his cruel and stupid messages on the platform.
Social media rival Facebook, and its subsidiary Instagram, has also nuked the video – a significant move from a company which has broadly allowed Trump to post with impunity.
“We made the decision that on balance these posts contribute to, rather than diminish, the risk of ongoing violence,” said Guy Rosen, VP of Integrity, and Monika Bickert, VP of Global Policy Management.
Facebook subsequently announced that two policy violations on Trump’s account have necessitated a “feature block”, meaning he will be unable to post anything on his official FB channel for 24 hours.
While the decision to silence the loudest voice in the room is significant, there’s another way of looking at this: Why did it take so long to happen?
for attempting to start a civil war you are banned from our web site for 12 hours
— food truck drove away with my debit card (@fart) January 7, 2021