Twitter has locked Donald Trump’s account for 12 hours after removing three tweets and accusing him of excusing violence.
Issuing its first ever ban on the outgoing president, the social media giant added Trump will face a “permanent suspension” from the platform if the offending tweets are not deleted.
In one video, Trump addressed his supporters, who had clashed with police in Washington DC forcing a lockdown at the US Capitol building.
In the video the president told protesters that they “have to go home now”, adding “we don’t want anybody hurt”, but he also claimed that “this was a fraudulent election”.
Twitter had earlier removed the retweet, like and reply functions on the video.
Facebook also followed suit by locking Trump’s page.
“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 said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Facebook’s vice president of integrity Guy Rosen, 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.”
The US Capitol building was overwhelmed by mobs of Trump supporters on Wednesday, and there were reports of one person being shot dead during clashes between rioters and police.
Trump’s video was viewed more than 10 million times in less than an hour before it as removed.
Twitter Safety posted: “As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, DC, we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump
“Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy.
“This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.
“Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”
Twitter had earlier added a warning to the video, which read: “This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this tweet can’t be replied to, retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.”