Twitter banned President Donald Trump's account Friday, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
The social platform has been under growing pressure to take further action against Trump following Wednesday's deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Twitter initially suspended Trump's account for 12 hours after he posted a video that repeated false claims about election fraud and praised the rioters who stormed the Capitol.
Twitter's move deprives Trump of a potent tool he has used to communicate directly with the American people for more than a decade. He has used Twitter to announce policy changes, challenge opponents, insult enemies, praise his allies (and himself), and to spread misinformation.
Twitter posted a lengthy explanation of its reasons for permanently suspending Trump's account on its blog.
In the wake of Wednesday's deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, calls have been mounting for Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms to suspend President Donald Trump's access to social media permanently.
Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, on Thursday suspended Trump’s account for at least two weeks, and possibly indefinitely. Twitter, however, had merely revoked Trump's posting privileges for 12 hours after he posted a video that repeated false claims about election fraud and praised the rioters who stormed the Capitol.
On Friday, the company also permanently banned two Trump loyalists — former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell — as part of a broader purge of accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory. Twitter said it will take action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm.
“Given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content,” Twitter said in an emailed statement. The company also said Trump attorney Lin Wood was permanently suspended Tuesday for violating its rules, but provided no additional details.
The company says that when it determines a group or campaign is engaged in “coordinated harmful activity,” it may suspend accounts that it finds primarily encourages that behavior.
Social media companies have been under intensified pressure to crack down on hate speech since a violent mob egged on by Trump stormed the Capitol. Dozens of QAnon social media accounts were hyping up Trump's Jan. 6 rally in the heart of Washington, expressing hope that it could lead to the overturn of the election results.