Twitter Inc. permanently suspended the account of President Donald Trump on Friday.
“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
announced in a blog post.
A spokesperson for the platform told MarketWatch that Trump and others were banned in line with Twitter’s policy against harmful coordinated activity. The accounts of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump lawyer Sidney Powell were also permanently banned.
The breaking point came after Wednesday’s events, when Trump spoke at a rally of supporters, who later stormed the Capitol as Congress was voting to confirm the results of the election that cost Trump the presidency. Trump subsequently posted support for the riotous mob on Twitter and Facebook Inc.
; Facebook banned Trump on Thursday, while Twitter allowed Trump to return after a temporary ban.
The president used Twitter as a bully pulpit to push a narrative via an account followed by 88.7 million. He provoked and bullied people and companies, incited violence among his more rabid supporters, and rallied support for his causes. Most dangerously, he pushed the false notion for months that he won the presidential election, which led to Wednesday’s bloody rally.
“It’s an important platform that he abused and abused and abused,” presidential historian Michael Beschloss told MSNBC.
MediaJustice, an Oakland, Calif.-based social justice group, has urged Twitter to ban Trump for years and met with the company earlier this week.
“In many ways, this move is a day late and a dollar short,” said Steven Renderos, executive director of the group, on Friday. “But it’s about protecting democracy and the U.S. from further harm.”
Eric Goldman, law professor and co-director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University, called the move inevitable. “For so long [Twitter was] justifying his behavior because he was a sitting president. The events of this week showed that even a sitting president needs to be held accountable for his words.”
Twitter also said in its blog post: “We made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things.”
Shares of Twitter, which tolerated the president’s behavior despite pleas it boot him, are down 2% in after-hours trading Friday.
Absent of the Twitter and Facebook social-media megaphones that reached billions, Trump may increasingly turn to right-wing social-media sites like Parler.
Renderos acknowledged that Twitter’s long-awaited action “doesn’t undo the radicalization of people who live with an alternate set of facts. But it starts to move us toward a world where we can grapple with the reality that we’re in.”