According to the news agency Associated Press, Twitter banned the account of President Donald Trump on January 8, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence” following the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6.
Twitter has long given Trump and other world leaders wide exemptions from its rules against personal attacks, hate speech and other behaviours.
But the company said that recent Trump tweets amounted to glorification of violence when read in the background of the Capitol riot and proposals circulated online for potential armed demonstrations around the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, in a detailed clarification posted on its blog Friday.
The social platform has been under increasing pressure, following the violence on Wednesday, to take more action against Trump. On Wednesday, until Jan. 20 and theoretically indefinitely, Facebook suspended Trump’s account.
After publishing a video that repeated false statements of election fraud, Twitter merely suspended Trump’s account for 12 hours and praised the rioters who stormed the Capitol.
“The Twitter persona of Trump has long functioned as a combination of policy announcements—often out of the blue; media complaints; disdain for women, minorities and their perceived enemies; and praise for his supporters, full of exclamation marks, all-caps, and one-word statements such as “Sad! He has fired several officials on Twitter and his tweets are a torrent of disinformation, like his speeches at rallies.