In a big move, the microblogging site Twitter on Wednesday (local time) decided to lock US President Donald Trump’s account in wake of the violent situation at the US Capitol in Washington.
Citing violation of its Civic Integrity Policy, Twitter said that it had required the removal of at least three of Trump’s tweets that were posted earlier regarding the situation in Washington, adding that his account will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these tweets.
And for the first time, the microblogging site Twitter on Wednesday (local time) officially removed several tweets from US President Donald Trump, where he spoke on the violent protests at the US Capitol.
One of the deleted tweets was a video where Trump addressed his supporters, telling them to ‘go home’ while reiterating allegations of voter fraud, while another deleted tweet had him saying Vice President Mike Pence lacked the “courage” to do what was necessary. The removal comes after Facebook and YouTube removed Trump’s video to supporters, and amid calls by the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP for Trump’s social media accounts to be suspended outright, reported CNN.
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.
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 tweet was immediately flagged by the microblogging site as the claim of election fraud was disputed. Twitter also restricted the post from being liked, retweeted or replied to, due to a risk of stoking violence.
Trump later tweeted: “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 & in peace. Remember this day forever!”. This tweet was also deleted.
A chaotic and violent scene unfolded at the Capitol on Wednesday as supporters of Trump swarmed the building to protest the Electoral College vote, forcing a lockdown and various confrontations with police-reported The Hill. Rioters overpowered police and broke into the Capitol to protest as a joint session of Congress convened to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
The incident led to several condemnations of Trump for inciting the riots, with some calling for his immediate impeachment and removal.