“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter’s official “Safety” account tweeted.
By Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny
Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s account on Friday, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
The president’s account was initially banned for 12 hours on Jan. 6 due to “severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” after he used the platform to tweet condemnation against Vice President Mike Pence as his supporters stormed the Capitol.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the company said in a tweet.
The company banned the president’s account after years of public pressure and several attempts to limit the reach of his account in recent days. Hundreds of Twitter employees signed a letter urging Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to ban the president for using the platform to incite violence in the wake of the Capitol siege.
“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,” Twitter said in a blog post. “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.”
“However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence,” the post continued. “We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.”
This was the second time in a week Twitter had taken action against the president’s account. Twitter removed three tweets that promoted conspiracy theories about the election and locked Trump’s account on Wednesday, citing “a risk of violence,” after a violent riot at the Capitol. Trump’s official @POTUS account is still active.
In the post, the company cited Trump’s two most recent tweets as an explanation for the removal.
In one, Trump wrote: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
In the next, he tweeted, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Taken together, the company determined, they were “likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so.”
The suspension drew immediate praise from Democratic politicians.
“Thank you @twitter for taking this action,” tweeted Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. “We must come together as a country to heal and find a common path forward.”
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.
(Ben Collins covers disinformation, extremism and the internet for NBC News.
Brandy Zadrozny is an investigative reporter for NBC News.)