Donald Trump permanently banned from Twitter due to ‘risk of inciting violence’

Twitter has permanently banned Donald Trump for glorifying violence and inspiring others to violent acts.

The social network said on Friday that the President’s latest tweets earlier that day risked inciting a repeat of the storming of US Capitol building on Wednesday.

The company had already temporarily suspended Mr Trump for praising the rioters on Wednesday, and had warned him that he would lose his account if he broke its rules again.

It came after mounting public pressure on tech firms from politicians, celebrities and former Silicon Valley employees to deprive the President of his megaphone.

That pressure will now turn to Facebook, YouTube and other major tech firms, which have historically tended to move in herds when one of them bans a controversial major user.

Twitter said: "After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them – specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter – we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence."

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.https://t.co/CBpE1I6j8Y

— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021

Mr Trump, who had around 90 million followers and had used the platform as a springboard for his surprise victory in the 2015 Republican nomination contest and as a bully pulpit throughout his presidency, was removed with immediate effect.

In its explanation of the decision, Twitter cited two tweets made by Mr Trump on Friday. In the first, he said: “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!!!”

The second said simply noted that he would not be attending the inauguration of his victorious opponent Joe Biden on January 20, the first time any US president has done so in 152 years.

Those tweets, the San-Francisco-based social network said, were already being interpreted by Mr Trump’s most extreme supporters as a retraction of his promise on Thursday of an "orderly" handover, and a signal that the inauguration ceremony would be a "safe" target for further violence.

More to follow…

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