Twitter suspends Donald Trump

The company said future rule breaking will result in a permanent ban.

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U.S. President Donald Trump pauses as he talks to journalists on board Air Force One en route to Washington D.C. after a campaign rally in Arizona, U.S., October 19, 2020. Picture taken October 19, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Carlos Barria / reuters

Twitter has temporarily suspended Donald Trump after the president tweeted his support for a violent mob that descended on the nation’s Capitol as Congress met to certify the results of the November election.

The company says it has locked Trump’s account for 12 hours and that the president will be required to remove three tweets that it had previously labeled for inciting violence.

“As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” the company wrote. “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.”

The company added that future rule-breaking “will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.” 

For Twitter, the suspension is a step the company had previously avoided, citing a “public interest policy” that tweets from world leaders should be allowed to remain up to allow scrutiny and public dissemination. Now, the company said that policy has reached its limit. 

“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,” Twitter said. “We’ll 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.”

Earlier in the day, Twitter had added new labels to three tweets from Trump, including a video in which he praised those responsible for the riots, warning the messages posed a “risk of violence.” Facebook and YouTube subsequently removed the video from their platforms

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