Twitter locked Trump's account "for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy," the company announced on Wednesday

By Gabrielle Chung
January 06, 2021 09:26 PM
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President Donald Trump
| Credit: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty

President Donald Trump has been barred from posting on Twitter amid riots at the U.S. Capitol, in which his supporters stormed the building as lawmakers count the Electoral College votes certifying President-elect Joe Biden's November election win.

On Wednesday, Twitter locked Trump's @realDonaldTrump account for 12 hours, requiring the removal of three of his recent tweets "for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy," the social media platform announced.

"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," Twitter said in a statement. "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."

Twitter added that further violations of its policies "will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account."

In addition, Facebook Newsroom announced via Twitter that it had "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."

After Facebook's announcement, head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, tweeted that the social media platform was pursuing similar measures, writing, "We are locking President Trump’s Instagram account for 24 hours as well."

"Our public interest policy — which has guided our enforcement action in this area for years — ends where we believe the risk of harm is higher and/or more severe," a statement from Twitter read. "We’ll continue to evaluate the situation in real time, including examining activity on the ground and statements made off Twitter. We will keep the public informed, including if further escalation in our enforcement approach is necessary."

The temporary lock comes just as the company removed Trump's video addressing the riots.

In the recorded speech, Trump told his supporters, "we love you, you're very special," and doubled down on the baseless claims of election fraud before telling rioters occupying the Capitol building, "we have to have peace, so go home."

RELATED VIDEO: Pro-Trump Rioters Storm U.S. Capitol, Forcing Evacuation of Lawmakers

Twitter initially included an advisory that said "this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence," but later removed the video entirely from its platform altogether.

Facebook and YouTube have also removed the video from its respective channels as of Wednesday evening.

"This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump's video," Guy Rosen, Facebook's Vice President of integrity, said in a tweet of the company's decision to remove Trump's posts. "We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence."

Rosen also said in a press release that Facebook will update an advisory label on posts across its platforms, including Instagram, with one that reads: "Joe Biden has been elected President with results that were certified by all 50 states. The US has laws, procedures, and established institutions to ensure the peaceful transfer of power after an election."

According to Rosen, Facebook has also "taken enforcement action consistent with our policy banning militarized social movements like the Oathkeepers and the violence-inducing conspiracy theory QAnon. We've also continued to enforce our ban on hate groups including the Proud Boys and many others."

A spokesperson for YouTube tells PEOPLE that Trump's video was removed because it "violated our policies regarding content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Election."

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
| Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty

However, the rep noted copies of the video will be allowed if it is uploaded by other users "with additional context and sufficient educational, documentary, scientific or artistic (EDSA) value."

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have denounced Trump and his supporters amid the chaos at the Capitol.

Police confirmed on Wednesday that a woman who was shot inside the Capitol building during the rioting has died.