Social media apps Facebook and Twitter had President Donald Trump’s social accounts suspended during the protests at Capitol Hill yesterday. Twitter removed three tweets from Trump’s personal account. Then, it suspended the account for 12 hours after he insisted on continuing using the app to push his messages.
RELATED: Twitter Suppresses Trump’s Tweets
The suspension occurred as a group of protesters descended on Congress yesterday and disrupted the ongoing Electoral College certification. Twitter also warned that further violations of its rules “will result in permanent suspension” of Trump’s Twitter account.
What Happened Before
The series of events started on January 6, as Trump held a rally in Washington DC. There, he reiterated that massive voter fraud occurred during the Presidential elections and stole votes from him. Following a remark by his attorney Rudy Giuliani, called for a “trial by combat,” the President urged followers to march to the Capitol to protest the ongoing session by Congress. He said: “We’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them.”
As protesters made their way to Congress, Trump ripped into Vice President Mike Pence for not delaying or suspending the confirmation. Pence is the presiding officer for the session that counted and confirmed the Electoral College votes. He tweeted: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify,” Trump tweeted. “USA demands the truth!”
Series of Tweets
Supporters managed to get inside the Capitol and occupied the offices and session halls. Congress suspended its session and evacuated its members as police tried to control the crowd. During this time, Twitter stepped in and tagged the message as disputed. It labeled it with the warning that “This claim of election fraud is disputed,” the label said, “and this Tweet can’t be replied to, retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.”
After Police dispersed the protesters, the President sent additional tweets. These include the message: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & peace. Remember this day forever!” He also told his supporters who marched to the Capitol, some carrying Confederate flags, that he loved them. “You’re very special,” he said before asking people to go home.
As the clashes with police and protesters died down, Trump released a video where he reiterated claims of widespread election fraud. He also urged supporters in the Capitol to go home and stay peaceful. He also called on protesters to support capitol police and law enforcement. However, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter removed the video by Wednesday evening. Twitter and Facebook initially labeled the post as containing disputed facts, but eventually, all three platforms removed the video. Later on, Twitter had Trump’s social accounts suspended. Meanwhile, Facebook and YouTube blocked any further posts.
Trump’s Social Accounts Suspended
Facebook said it blocked the president’s account from posting for 24 hours due to two policy violations. Meanwhile, Twitter locked Trump’s account for 12 hours after removing his disputed tweets. series of his tweets. The company said through its accounts that they will unlock Trump’s account if the President removes the tweets. Trump’s official Twitter government account stayed active. Twitter’s safety team stated that “calls to violence” is a violation of its rules. Twitter did not remove his recent post, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!
Then, YouTube released a statement that the video violated “policies regarding content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome.” Meanwhile, Facebook also justified their ban by saying: “The violent protests in the Capitol today are a disgrace. We prohibit incitement and calls for violence on our platform.” The company said they are currently reviewing and removing any content that violates their rules.
Guy Rosen, Facebook’s VP of Integrity, tweeted: “This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.” He said Instagram also removed Trump’s video.
Update (01.08.21 3:53PM PT): Twitter has permanently suspended President Trump’s account. The website cited “the risk of further incitement of violence” for the move.
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) January 8, 2021
View BBC Newsnight as it reports that President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Twitter are suspended due to its content:
Express Yourself Freely
Do you agree with social media’s decision to suspend or lock President Trump’s social messages and videos during the protests? Do you agree with the reasons why Trump’s social accounts were suspended? Tell us what you think about what happened in Congress yesterday. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.