Twitter And Facebook Lock Trump Accounts After Mob Invades Capitol

Twitter on Wednesday evening said it removed three tweets by President Trump and locked his account, after a mob of his supporters rioted in Washington, D.C.

“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 company posted at around 7 p.m.

Twitter added that Trump's account will be locked for 12 hours after he removes the tweets. If he refuses to take down the tweets, the account will remain locked.

Trump's account will be permanently suspended if there are any future violations of the rules, the company said.

Facebook also said Wednesday evening it had locked Trump's account for 24 hours.

Earlier in the day, Twitter had restricted the viral spread of several Trump posts by preventing other users from replying to the posts, retweeting them or liking them.

Twitter took that earlier step nearly three hours after Trump supporters -- some carrying confederate flags -- stormed the Capitol. At the time, lawmakers were in the process of certifying Biden's Electoral College victory of 306-232.

At least one person in the Capitol was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon.

Trump, who has repeatedly made the false claim that the election was “rigged” against him, had used Twitter to exhort supporters to come to Washington for a rally on Wednesday. 

At around 2:30 p.m., after the mob had already broken into the Capitol, Trump took to Twitter to criticize Vice President Mike Pence for refusing to unilaterally overthrow the election results.

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” he said in one post flagged by Twitter.

Later in the afternoon, Trump told his supporters in a video, “You have to go home now,” but also repeated false claims that the election was “fraudulent” and “stolen from us.”

That post was restricted and then removed by Twitter.

Facebook took down that same video earlier Wednesday afternoon.

“We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence,” Facebook vice president Guy Rosen tweeted

Later Wednesday, Facebook locked Trump's account entirely for 24 hours. 

"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," Facebook tweeted at around 8:30 p.m. Facebook-owned Instagram also locked Trump's account for 24 hours.

YouTube took down the video as well.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told Congress in November that the company would no longer exempt Trump from its policies regarding acceptable content after he leaves office.

This story has been updated.

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