Twitter, Facebook lock Donald Trump’s account following US Capitol Attack

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WASHINGTON (US), JANUARY 7, 2021: The microblogging site Twitter on Wednesday (local time) decided to lock US President Donald Trump’s account following his comments on the attack at the US Capitol in Washington.

Twitter cited violation of its Civic Integrity Policy, saying that it had required the removal of at least three of Trump’s tweets that were posted earlier regarding the situation in Washington.

The social media platform added that Trump’s account will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these tweets.

“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,” Twitter Safety said in a tweet.

“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,” it said in another tweet.

The microblogging site warned that future violations of Twitter rules will lead to a permanent suspension of Trump’s account.

“Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account,” said Twitter Safety.

For the first time, the microblogging site has officially removed three of Trump’s tweets, where he spoke on the violent protests at the US Capitol. While another deleted tweet had him saying Vice President Mike Pence lacked the “courage” to do what was necessary.

According to CNN, the removal of tweets comes after YouTube and Facebook removed Trump’s video to supporters, and amid calls by the the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and the Anti-Defamation League for Trump’s social media accounts to be suspended outright.

In the one-minute video on Twitter, Trump said, “I know you are pained, I know you are hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. That was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We’ve to have law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.”

“This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play in the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace,” he added.

The microblogging site flagged the tweet immediately as the claim of election fraud was disputed. The post was also restricted from being liked, retweeted or replied to, due to a risk of stoking violence.

In a tweet, Facebook’s VP of integrity Guy Rosen called this ‘an emergency situation’, and said that the video contributes to the risk of ongoing violence.

“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,” tweeted Rosen.

Facebook said it was blocking him from posting for 24 hours on both its main platform and its Instagram unit because of policy violations.

This comes amidst a unprecedented violent situation in Washington where Trump’s supporters stormed in the US Capitol building, seeking to overturn the Electoral vote count that certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

The scuffle has led to death of four individuals and several being injured, evacuation of the Congressional buildings and a lockdown of the Capitol building.

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