Tech giant Twitter has permanently suspended US President Donald Trump’s @realDonaldTrump account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” a reference to the violent protests that took place in Capitol Hill.
Twitter said the decision was taken after a “close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account”.
The tech giant also shut down his @TeamTrump campaign account shortly after it sent out a tweet with a “statement from President Trump” accusing Twitter of “banning free speech” and coordinating with “the Democrats and the Radical Left” to silence him.
However, the moves are likely to spark yet another debate on free speech, considered as the bedrock of American democracy.
In fact, few social media platforms have propelled President Trump’s political career like Twitter has. But after being elected President, Trump had several run-ins with Twitter, finally ending with suspension of his account.
On Wednesday, Trump was locked out of his account for 12 hours after he called the people who stormed the US Capitol as “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 then warned that it would ban Trump “permanently” if he breached the platform’s rules again.
After being allowed back on Twitter, Trump posted two tweets on Friday which the company cited as the last 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”.
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 fringe QAnon conspiracy theory.