January 17, 2021

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Twitter Locks Trump’s Account And Threatens Permanent Ban

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Topline

Twitter locked President Donald Trump’s Twitter account Wednesday and deleted two tweets, warning he could face permanent suspension, the social media company’s strongest response yet to the president after he tweeted support for rioters who stormed the Capitol Building.

Key Facts

Twitter removed two of Trump’s tweets addressing the riots in which the president urged rioters to “go home”—but said he knows their “pain” and “these are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away.”

The company said in a statement Trump’s account will be locked for the next 12 hours, meaning the president won’t be able to tweet until he also removes the tweets on his own.

Any future violations of Twitter’s rules, including the company’s Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, “will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account,” the company said.

Earlier in the day, Twitter blocked all likes and retweets on both of Trump’s posts, but took stronger action after Facebook also removed the posts.

Key Background

While this isn’t the first time Twitter has locked Trump’s account or removed tweets, this is the most forceful action the company has take to date. Democrats as well as prominent figures in tech and media have at times criticized Twitter’s response to Trump throughout his administration—but the president’s tweets about the riots appear to be a breaking point as more and more peoplecall on the social network to ban him entirely.

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