Donald Trump's Twitter lockout is over (for now)

Pressure is growing for the company to permanently ban him.

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Karissa Bell
January 8th, 2021
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Cecil Airport in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S., September 24, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Tom Brenner / reuters

Donald Trump’s Twitter timeout is over. One day after Twitter made the unprecedented decision to suspend the president for 12 hours, Trump officially regained his tweeting privileges, posting a two-and-a-half minute video addressing the violence in Washington DC.

Twitter had previously locked the president’s account, citing “repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy.” As part of the suspension, Trump was required to remove three tweets, which the company had previously warned posed a “risk of violence.” Facebook imposed an indefinite suspension for the same messages. 

Both Twitter and Facebook are facing renewed pressure to permanently ban Trump from their platforms. “Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior—and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms," Michelle Obama wrote in a statement

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin also called for a longer suspension, urging Twitter to impose a more severe penalty. So did former Twitter executive Adam Sharp, who previously headed up the company’s work with lawmakers and government officials. Internally, some employees have also called for Twitter to “deactivate” his account, NBC News reported.

Twitter, which previously confirmed Trump will lose his special protections once he leaves office, said that future violations of its rules will result in a permanent ban. “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,” the company said.

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