Donald Trump has been suspended from Twitter and Facebook after tweeting to supporters who attacked the US Capitol.
In a social media message to protesters he said “I love you” before telling them to go home. He also repeated false claims about election fraud, reports BBC.
Twitter said it required the removal of three tweets for “severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy”.
The company said the president’s account would remain locked for good if the tweets were not removed.
It went on to say that “Future violations of the Twitter Rules… will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account”.
Mr Trump’s account now states that three of his tweets are “no longer available because [they] violated” its rules. The platform only uses this specific notice in cases when account holders have deleted the post themselves.
Although Twitter has declined to comment on the matter, this indicates that Mr Trump or one of his associates may have taken the action required to get the account restored after a 12-hour ban ends.
Dan Scavino, White House director of social media, has used his own account to publish a statement on the President’s behalf.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” it quoted Mr Trump as saying.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”
Facebook and Instagram have banned Mr Trump from posting for 24 hours. YouTube also removed the video. Snapchat also stopped Mr Trump from creating new posts, but did not say if or when it would end the ban.
Facebook said: “We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”
His supporters stormed the seat of US government and clashed with police, leading to the death of one woman.
The violence brought to a halt congressional debate over Democrat Joe Biden’s election win. In the House and Senate chambers, Republicans were challenging the certification of November’s election results.
Before the violence, President Trump had told supporters on the National Mall in Washington that the election had been stolen.
Hours later, as the violence mounted inside and outside the US Capitol, he appeared on video and repeated the false claim.
He told protesters “I love you” and described the people who stormed the Capitol complex as “patriots”.
YouTube said it removed the video because it “violated policies on spreading election fraud”.
Twitter initially didn’t take down the video, instead removing the ability to retweet, like and comment on it and another tweet. However, it later removed them, and suspended the outgoing president.
Twitter said: “We have been significantly restricting engagement with Tweets labelled under our Civic Integrity Policy due to the risk of violence”.
Facebook told the BBC: “The violent protests in the Capitol today are a disgrace. We prohibit incitement and calls for violence on our platform. We are actively reviewing and removing any content that breaks these rules.”
Facebook also said it is currently looking for and removing content that incited or supported the storming of Capitol Hill.
YouTube already had a policy to remove fake news about mass election fraud, which it applied to the president.
The march was partly organised online, including on Facebook groups and pages.
It’s likely President-elect Joe Biden will look to crack down on conspiracy theories and extremism on social media when he takes office.
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