Twitter stated that plans for future armed protests had already been proliferating both on and off the platform in the aftermath of the riot.
Americans need no longer worry about the nuclear launch codes ending up on Twitter as, on Friday, the social network company finally took the long-overdue decision to permanently kick President Donald Trump off the platform. The company said in a tweet that it made the decision "due to the risk of further incitement of violence" as it feared the president's most recent tweets were being interpreted as supporting those who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6. According to CNBC, Twitter stated that plans for future armed protests had already been proliferating both on and off the platform in the aftermath of the riot, including a proposed attack on the U.S. Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17.
Before being banned, Donald Trump used his Twitter account to attack California. Those missives were more frequent during the impeachment hearings https://t.co/1Mo4E0UmmL— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) January 9, 2021
The tweet reads: "After close review of recent Tweets from the Donald Trump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence. In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open."
In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. https://t.co/NrANZJcAfo— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021
"However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement," the statement concludes. Given the permanent suspension, which amounts to a ban, Trump can no longer access his account — which had 88.7 million followers prior to the latest development — and his tweets and profile picture have been deleted.
However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021
Although Trump tweeted a statement addressing the suspension in a series of tweets from the POTUS account, the tweets were reportedly removed from the service almost immediately. Twitter told CNN that the Trump campaign's account has also been permanently banned; a move that followed the account sharing the same four-tweet thread. "As we've said, using another account to try to evade a suspension is against our rules," a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. The company explained that it would not suspend intuitional accounts like @POTUS and @WhiteHouse unless it became a question of avoiding real-world harm.
Donald Trump and his followers are objecting loudly after Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets banned the outgoing president. But the companies are within their rights, since free speech protections don't often apply to the private sector. https://t.co/shkZY19OW8— The Associated Press (@AP) January 10, 2021
However, it could limit those accounts' capabilities before transferring the accounts to the next administration. In Trump's statement, he accused Twitter employees of having "coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me. Twitter may be a private company, but without the government’s gift of Section 230 they would not exist for long." Civil rights leaders who have long criticized tech platforms for spreading hate speech and division welcomed Twitter's decision to ban Trump.
Although permanently banned from Twitter and suspended from Facebook, Donald Trump has some smaller social media outlets available. He could sign up to the far-right friendly Parler. And he's even suggested starting his own platform. https://t.co/zNM1TimWfg— The Associated Press (@AP) January 9, 2021
"A fitting end to a legacy of spewing hate and vitriol," said Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. "President Trump incited the violent riots at the Capitol using social media & paid the price." Eric Naing, a spokesman for Muslim Advocates, said Twitter "is showing real leadership. As Twitter notes, letting Trump continue to post tweets, Facebook posts, and YouTube videos for his white nationalist supporters risks 'further incitement of violence.' Now it is up to Facebook and Google/YouTube to follow Twitter's lead."