SMA NEWS – WASHINGTON
US President Donald Trump has been permanently suspended from Twitter “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”, the company says.
It comes amid a Big Tech purge of the online platforms used by Mr Trump and his supporters.
Mr Trump was locked out of his account for 12 hours on Wednesday after he called the people who stormed the US Capitol “patriots”.
Hundreds of his supporters entered the complex as the US Congress attempted to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. The ensuing violence led to the deaths of four civilians and a police officer.
Twitter warned then that it would ban Mr Trump “permanently” if he breached the platform’s rules again.
After being allowed back on Twitter, Mr Trump posted two tweets on Friday that the company cited as the final straws.
In one, he 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!!!”
Twitter said this tweet “is being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an ‘orderly transition'”.
In the next, the president tweeted: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Twitter said this was “being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate”.
Twitter said both of these tweets were “in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy”.
Twitter wrote in a blog post on Friday: “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.”
It added: “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.”
Some 350 Twitter employees had signed a letter this week to the company chief executive, Jack Dorsey, asking him to ban the president in the wake of the Capitol riot.
The letter said: “Despite our efforts to serve the public conversation, as Trump’s megaphone, we helped fuel the deadly events of January 6th.”