Twitter Locks Trump’s Account Over ‘Repeated and Severe Violations’ as His Supporters Mob the Capitol
As Trump supporters stormed and breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Twitter escalated its flagging of Trump’s tweets for disputed information by marking a video he tweeted out amid the riot as carrying a “risk of violence.” The social media platform at first restricted the tweet from being liked or shared, and later removed it entirely.
In the video, Trump speaks directly to his supporters, whom he had urged to gather in Washington D.C. as the houses of Congress took up the Electoral College certification that would finalize Joe Biden’s victory over the President. Trump used the video to once again falsely claim election fraud, before encouraging his supporters who had unlawfully entered the Capitol building to go home in peace. “You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order,” he says. “So go home. We love you. You’re very special…I know how you feel.”
The video was tweeted out shortly after 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday and was subsequently marked with a warning that read, “This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this tweet can’t be replied to, retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.”
Although numerous tweets of Trump’s have been flagged for disputed information, this appears to be the first time that Twitter has locked down engagement with one of his posts as well as marked it for “risk of violence.”
Later in the evening, Trump again tweeted false information about the election and urged those who stormed the Capitol “go home with love & in peace.” Twitter similarly restricted engagement with that tweet.
Shortly after, Twitter removed the two tweets and one other from its platform and issued a statement, saying the President’s account was locked for 12 hours.
“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 statement sent via their @TwitterSafety account read. “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. Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”
Facebook also appears to have removed the video from the President’s account after initially labeling it as potentially misleading.