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Banned: Twitter Locks Donald Trump's Account After Controversial Messages To D.C. Rioters

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Jan. 7 2021, Updated 10:19 a.m. ET

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After initially deleting several of President Donald Trump’s tweets regarding the riots in Washington D.C. where supporters of the sitting President stormed the U.S. Capitol building, Twitter locked Trump’s account for 12 hours. 

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"As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy," Twitter Safety wrote.

"This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked."

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Twitter also added that any future violations of any Twitter rules, including the Civic Integrity and Violent Threat policies, will have his account permanently suspended.

"I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now … This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you, you’re very special," Trump said in a video.

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Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence was less fond of the rioters. "The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building," he tweeted. 

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There have been several calls for Twitter to remove Trump’s account, and the platform has removed big profile users in the past for misconduct, including British journalist Katie Hopkins. However, Trump’s presidential status has shielded him from getting kicked off. After months of controversial statements, the social media network began to fact check his tweets during the election.

"If a Tweet from a world leader does violate the Twitter Rules but there is a clear public interest value to keeping the Tweet on the service, we may place it behind a notice that provides context about the violation and allows people to click through should they wish to see the content," Twitter explained. 

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It wasn’t just Twitter that felt the need to strike down on Trump’s account but YouTube and Facebook, too. Both platforms removed the video, and Facebook banned Trump’s page from posting for 24 hours. 

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"This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump's video," Facebook’s vice president of integrity Guy Rosen tweeted.

"We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence."

According to Variety, Trump's video violated YouTube’s "policies regarding content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Election.” However, the video can still resurface on YouTube via other accounts if the users upload it  “with additional context and sufficient educational, documentary, scientific or artistic (EDSA) value."

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