Two days after hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Hill in Washington DC, Twitter Inc on Friday permanently suspended US President Donald Trump's account due to the "risk of further incitement of violence".
"After a 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 said in a tweet.
The social platform has been under growing pressure to take further action against Trump following Wednesday's deadly insurrection at the US Capitol. On Wednesday, Twitter temporarily blocked Trump's account, which had more than 88 million followers, following the siege of Capitol Hill by pro-Trump protesters, and warned that additional violations by the president's accounts would result in a permanent suspension.
Trump resumed tweeting Thursday. Twitter has said it could take further action as it kept track of “activity on the ground and statements made off Twitter.”
Twitter's latest move deprives Donald Trump of a potent tool he has used to communicate directly with the American people for more than a decade. He has used Twitter to announce policy changes, challenge opponents, insult enemies, praise his allies (and himself), and to spread misinformation.
Twitter has long given Trump and other world leaders broad exemptions from its rules against personal attacks, hate speech and other behaviours. But in a lengthy explanation of its reasons for permanently suspending Trump's account on its blog, the company said recent Trump tweets amounted to the glorification of violence when read in the context of the Capitol riot and plans circulating online for future armed protests around the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
On Friday, Twitter also permanently banned two Trump loyalists — former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell — as part of a broader purge of accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory. Twitter said it will take action on behaviour that has the potential to lead to offline harm.