Shortly before leaving office, the elected US President Trump loses his most important communication platform by far: Twitter locks him out – permanent.
After Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, the short message service Twitter has permanently blocked the most important account of the elected US president. The reason is the “risk of further incitement to violence,” said Twitter on Friday evening (local time).
Twitter has been Trump’s most important communication platform. He used the platform several times a day to address his supporters and the world public directly. More than 88 million people followed the president on his account @realDonaldTrump.
Two tweets from Friday criticized
Critics accuse Trump of inciting his supporters to attack the Capitol at a rally on Wednesday. Five people were killed in the riot. The tweets on the @realDonaldTrump account were no longer accessible on Friday evening. Instead, the message “Account locked” appeared there. Twitter specifically listed two tweets from the president on Friday to justify the new ban.
Screenshot of the blocked account @realDonaldTrump. (Source: AP / dpa)
In one of those tweets, Trump wrote – partly in capital letters – the 75 million “great American patriots” who would have voted for him in the election would have a “powerful vote” well into the future. You would not be disparaged or treated unfairly in any way. In a second tweet, Trump announced that he would be absent from the inauguration of his successor Joe Biden on January 20.
Twitter rated the combination of the two tweets as suitable to inspire people to act violent in the style of storming the Capitol. The short message service argued, among other things, that Trump’s suggestion that he would not be attending the swearing-in ceremony himself could serve as an encouragement to those who might be considering acts of violence “that the swearing-in is a ‘safe’ goal,” because Trump himself isn’t there is present.
Allegedly plans for a second attack on the Capitol
Plans for future armed protests are already being spread on Twitter and elsewhere, it said. Among other things, there is talk of a proposed further attack on the Congress seat on January 17th.
After the riots at the Capitol on Wednesday, Twitter had already blocked the @realDonaldTrump account for twelve hours because the president’s tweets had “repeatedly and seriously” violated the platform’s guidelines. The short message service threatened Trump with a permanent ban if these tweets are not removed.
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Previously, Facebook announced on Thursday that it would block Trump until further notice. Trump’s accounts on the online network and also on the Instagram photo platform should remain blocked for at least two weeks or until the handover to his successor Joe Biden, as Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg announced. Initially, Facebook had blocked Trump for 24 hours.
In particular, Twitter has so far limited itself to warning notices for Trump because the service regards the President’s contributions as historical documents. In the past few months, Twitter and Facebook had warned Trump of false information on numerous posts and in some cases also restricted their distribution. The outgoing president then accused the platforms of political censorship.