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Twitter, Facebook lock Trump’s account amid riots at US Capitol

January 07, 2021 | 10:35

Facebook and Twitter suspended President Donald Trump from posting to their platforms Wednesday regarding the insurrection at the U.S Capitol.

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Twitter locked Trump out of his account for 12 hours and said that future violations by Trump could result in a permanent suspension. The company required the removal of three of Trump’s tweets, one of which included a video of Trump repeating unfounded claims that the election was taken from him and encouraging his supporters to disperse after violence erupted at the Capitol. He said that law and order were needed and that he loved his supporters.

Trump posted that video more than two hours after protesters entered the Capitol, interrupting lawmakers meeting in an extraordinary joint session to confirm the Electoral College results and President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Trump opened his video saying, “I know your pain. I know your hurt. But you have to go home now.”

After repeating false claims about voter fraud affecting the election, Trump went on to say: “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.”

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Illustrative photo

Twitter initially left the video up but blocked people from being able to retweet it or comment on it. Only later in the day did the platform delete it entirely.

Facebook also removed the video from Trump's accounts. Facebook said it would be blocking the president's account from posting for 24 hours due to two policy violations.

Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of integrity, tweeted: "This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump's video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence."

YouTube said in a statement that the video violated "policies regarding content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome.

Facebook, Twitter and other tech platforms faced growing calls Wednesday afternoon to suspend President Donald Trump's social media accounts for his role in the riots.

Riots at Washington DC and Capitol Hill

On the day the US election results were to be certified by Congress, Donald Trump supporters have forced their way into the Capitol building.

Thousands of protesters had gathered at the National Mall Wednesday to protest the election results. At a campaign-style rally about an hour before the protesters broke through police lines at the Capitol, Trump had urged them to go to the building. The rioters headed to Capitol Hill after hearing Trump's remarks, Washington Police chief Robert J. Contee III said.

Hundreds of people broke into the building and filtered through Statuary Hall. Some entered the Senate chamber and faced off with police at the door to the House chamber.

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