Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram locked President Donald Trump’s accounts Wednesday in the wake of riots that saw his supporters break into the Capitol and disrupt the counting of the electoral votes.
In a statement, Twitter wrote, “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. The account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets.” Twitter threatened permanent suspension of the account should future violations occur.
Facebook then announced it was cutting off access to his account for 24 hours, with a spokesman saying: “We’ve assessed two policy violations against President Trump’s Page which will result in a 24-hour feature block, meaning he will lose the ability to post on the platform during that time.”
Instagram then said it would ban Trump for 24 hours.
Trump had released a video of himself addressing his supporters and saying that “we had an election that was stolen from us” and that “This was a fraudulent election.” He had written in a separate tweet, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots.”
YouTube and Facebook also removed the video from President Trump’s accounts for violating their rules. In a statement shared with The Daily Beast, YouTube said Trump’s video “violated our policies regarding content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Election.” Facebook VP of Integrity Guy Rosen wrote, “We removed [Trump’s video] because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”