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Twitter has locked down President Trump’s account for 12 hours, and warned that it could result in a permanent ban.
The lockdown followed an historic day in the nation’s capital. As a joint session of Congress gathered to ceremonially count the 2020 electoral votes, supporters of Pres. Trump stormed the capital building. House and Senate members were rushed to an undisclosed location.
During the standoff, the president used his social media account in ways that social media platforms deemed as encouraging rather than discouraging the ongoing violence. After applying numerous warning labels and removing engagement metrics, likes and replies, Twitter took unprecedented action: The company locked Trump’s account until he removes the offending tweets, plus another 12 hours.
Twitter threatens Trump with permanent ban
Twitter also warned that if he violates the policy again, he could be permanently banned. Twitter’s action followed a similar one by Facebook, in which the social media company removed a number of Trump posts and called it an “emergency situation.”
By mid-afternoon the president had recorded a video message from the Rose Garden in which he repeated baseless claims of election fraud. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube all removed the video.
“We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence,” said Facebook’s vp of integrity, Guy Rosen.
The Capitol building was secured around 6pmET. Around 8pmET, Congress continued its electoral vote tally.