Donald Trump’s days on Twitter are over.
Twitter said Friday night that it has banned the president from its platform over fears that his posts might further incite violence in the US.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter writes in a blog post.
Twitter temporarily locked Trump’s account earlier this week over tweets he posted about the attack on the US Capitol. Those messages included a video in which Trump continued to lie about winning the 2020 election before telling those gathered at the Capitol to “go home now.” But the clip ended with him telling them “We love you, you’re very special.”
Trump regained control of his account last night, but two tweets he posted today violated Twitter’s rules. In one, he said that those who voted for him in the 2020 election “will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form.” He also posted that he would not be attending Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
“Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks,” Twitter says.
As such, the company determined that Trump’s posts violated its Glorification of Violence policy, so @realDonaldTrump has been permanently suspended from the service.
“Our determination is that the two Tweets…are likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so,” Twitter says. “Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.”
Trump was also banned indefinitely from Facebook and Instagram this week.
In a statement, the ACLU says it “should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier.
“President Trump can turn to his press team or Fox News to communicate with the public, but others — like the many Black, Brown, and LGBTQ activists who have been censored by social media companies — will not have that luxury. It is our hope that these companies will apply their rules transparently to everyone,” says ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Kate Ruane.
In a memo published by The Washington Post, Twitter employees this week, however, urged the company to permanently suspend Trump’s account.
“We appreciate stronger measures, like the interstitials recently used on his account and his Jan. 6 timeout. We do not believe these actions are sufficient,” they wrote. “Trump is no longer a legitimate democratic actor.”
The memo asks Twitter execs to commission “an independent investigation into Twitter’s role in these events. Despite our efforts to serve the public conversation, as Trump’s megaphone, we helped fuel the deadly events of January 6th. We request an investigation into how our public policy decisions led to the amplification of serious anti-democratic threats. We must learn from our mistakes in order to avoid causing future harm.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has not yet posted anything about tonight’s decision.
In the wake of suspensions from traditional social networks (Trump has also faced bans from Twitch, Snapchat, Shopify, and more), some right-wingers have moved to Parler, which calls itself the Free Speech Network. But that too might not be long for this world.
Google has banned the app from Google Play, and reports indicate Apple might do the same.
“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence. All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months,” a Google spokesperson says.
“We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US. We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content. In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues.”
Apple has also given Parler 24 hours to clean up its app or face removal from the App Store, BuzzFeed reports. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Also on the chopping block today at Twitter: Trump supporters pushing baseless Q-Anon conspiracy theories.
As NBC News reports, the Twitter accounts of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, lawyer Sidney Powell, and 8chan/8kun administrator Ron Watkins have been banned.
“Given the renewed potential for violence…in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content,” a Twitter spokesperson tells NBC.
Since being pardoned by Trump for lying to the FBI, Flynn has embraced Q-Anon, which basically believes that government officials and Hollywood stars are pedophiles and cannibals who can only be stopped by President Trump (yep).
Powell was on Trump’s legal team for awhile, leading the charge on election fraud cases before her rhetoric got to be too much even for team Trump. There’s speculation, meanwhile, that the mysterious “Q” is just Ron Watkins and his father Jim typing random stuff onto a message board.
Trump has played coy when it comes to Q-Anon. “If I can help save the world from problems, I’m willing to do it. I’m willing to put myself out there,” Trump said in August.
Now, if he plans to do anything about this ban, he has less than two weeks to do it.
Michael Kan contributed to this story.
Editors’ Note: Editors’ Note: This story was updated at 9:25 p.m. ET with comment from the ACLU.