By:
January 8, 2021

One day after being indefinitely banned by Facebook, President Donald Trump has now been permanently suspended by Twitter. The stunning decision came down Friday evening.

In a statement, 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.”

It added, “In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open. However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.”

It then listed reasons why two of Trump’s most recent tweets on Friday led to the suspension.

The first tweet 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!!!”

A short time later, Trump tweeted:

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

Twitter said, “Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks. After assessing the language in these Tweets against our Glorification of Violence policy, we have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.”

Twitter’s decision comes a day after Facebook blocked Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts “indefinitely and at least for the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete,” according to a statement from Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Twitter had become one of Trump’s favorite ways to communicate. He had nearly 89 million followers and sometimes tweeted dozens of times a day.

Many of Trump’s tweets, especially his baseless claims of a rigged election, have been labeled by Twitter as false. Earlier this week, Trump’s Twitter account was suspended for 12 hours after he posted a video that repeated false claims about election fraud and praised the rioters who stormed the Capitol.

The ban was lifted Thursday morning, but Twitter warned he would be permanently banned if he broke Twitter’s rules again.

That happened Friday.

Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer. For the latest media news and analysis, delivered free to your inbox each and every weekday morning, sign up for his Poynter Report newsletter.

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Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for Poynter.org. He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30…
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