Trump Twitter ban: US president's tweets deleted and account suspended indefinitely following Capitol riots

The President has also been denied access to his Facebook and Instagram, following riots on Capitol Hill

Twitter has permanently banned President Trump access to his personal account, the social media platform had previously joined Facebook and Instagram in suspending his accounts due to messages and a video he posted to protestors in Washington D.C.

One woman was shot dead during the protests, which took place on 6 January, the day of the Senate vote that would confirm Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.

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Amid concerns the outgoing president’s social media posts incited violence, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on 7 January that his Facebook and Instagram accounts would be blocked indefinitely, while Twitter initially removed three tweets from Trump’s account @realDonaldTrump.

But what did the outgoing president say on the social media platforms, and has he responded to Twitter following his permanent ban?

Here is what happened.

What did Trump say on social media following the capitol riots?

Trump posted on social media before, during and after a mob of his supporters invaded the Capitol building.

Thousands of Donald Trump supporters storm the United States Capitol building following a rally (Picture: Getty Images)
Thousands of Donald Trump supporters storm the United States Capitol building following a rally (Picture: Getty Images)

Before the violence Trump addressed a non-violent rally outside the White House on 6 January, telling protestors: “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and Congressmen and women.” He added the protestors should “fight” and “We will never give up, We will never concede.”

He had previously tweeted about the event, on 20 December 2020, telling supporters “Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

After his address, some of those who had attended the rally marched to the Capitol in Washington and launched a violent protest, which led to an armed police response and a protestor’s death.

The president then tweeted again, asking people to “stay peaceful”, adding, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

Hours into the violent protests from Republicans, Trump posted a video on Twitter and Facebook, telling protesters “go home now.” He said “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,” before adding: “We love you. You’re very special.”

As police took back control of the Capitol, Trump 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.”

How did Twitter respond to Trump’s posts?

Twitter allowed the tweets to remain in place for several hours during the protests, only sanctioning user interaction with them, such as retweeting, commenting or liking.

The tweets were then removed by the platform later on 6 January.

Twitter initially replaced the tweets with a message which read: “This Tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules. Learn more”

Twitter’s terms state: “You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people,” and “We also prohibit the glorification of violence.”

President Trump was then denied access to his personal Twitter account for an initial 12 hours, Twitter initially allowed him access again on 8 January.

A spokesperson for Twitter said the deleted tweets were "severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy" adding that Twitter would “permanently” remove him if he continued to break the platform’s rules

Why was Trump banned from Twitter?

On 8 January, Trump tweeted twice from his account – these messages are deemed to have been the last straw for Twitter.

In the first, the president wrote: "The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!"

He later posted for a second time, telling his followers: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th."

Twitter announced in a statement that the decision to permanently remove his account was due to “further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an 'orderly transition'".

The statement added that the tweets were: “being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate".

Several of his other tweets referring to election fraud had already been disabled by Twitter, removing the option to retweet, comment or like. A link has been added, which read: “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”

Has Trump addressed his Twitter ban?

Following from the removal of his personal account, Trump used his official presidential Twitter account @POTUS, to respond to Twitter’s actions.

President Trump tweeted from the @POTUS account, stating he would "look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the future".

The tweet implies Trump has plans to create a social platform to compete with Twitter, this tweet has now also removed.

How has Facebook reacted to Trump?

On 7 January, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg confirmed Trump had been blocked from Facebook and Instagram indefinitely.

In a statement, Zuckerberg said: “The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.

"His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world.

"We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect — and likely their intent — would be to provoke further violence.”

He continued: “Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules,” “but the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.

He concluded: “Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

Youtube has also removed the video and Snapchat has disabled Trump from sharing videos on its app.

What happened on Capitol Hill?

The riots began as a non-violent rally in the day, hosted by Trump, where he told his supporters that they had been denied the election through electoral fraud - claims which have not been proven.

Trump also told the rally how vice-President Mike Pence would “do the right thing” and reject the results of the election, something Pence is not empowered to do and had previously stated he would not do.

Hundreds of Trump supporters broke into the Capitol building where the congressional certification of the election was taking place.

Windows and doors were broken and the protestors managed to reach as far as the room where the speaker and the senate had met.

Armed police were deployed and, after hours of mayhem and the shooting of a protester, Trump deployed the National Guard. The building was then evacuated and politicians were taken to safe places, as were their staff.

One Trump supporter, Ashli Babbit, was killed in the protest, as shots as tear gas were fired by officers attempting to take back control.

After hours of protesting, the building was secured and Joe Biden was certified as US president.

Has president Trump responded to the protests on Capitol Hill?

In a media statement at the White House on 8 January, Trump told how protestors “will pay” for the riot they caused on Capitol Hill and inside the Capitol building.

He said: “"The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy,

"To those that engage in the acts of violence and disruption, you do not represent our country. To those that broke the law, you will pay."