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Twitter permanently suspends Trump's account

President Donald Trump was banned from Twitter for violating the company's policy on the glorification of violence. File Photo by Doug Mills/UPI
President Donald Trump was banned from Twitter for violating the company's policy on the glorification of violence. File Photo by Doug Mills/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump's personal account Friday "due to the risk of further incitement of violence" after an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol this week.

The ban came after months of the social media network flagging Trump's content as misleading and a temporary suspension Wednesday during the rioting.

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"In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action," a statement on Twitter's blog said. "Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open."

Trump posted on Twitter twice Friday -- once announcing that he won't attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Jan. 20 and a second time offering praise for his supporters.

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Thousands of those same supporters attended a speech he gave Wednesday at the Ellipse in which he reiterated his baseless claims about election fraud. He called on his supporters to march to the Capitol and demand that Congress not certify the Electoral College votes in favor of Biden.

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They did just that, breaching a Capitol Police barricade around the building and forcing their way inside.

"These two tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the president's statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks," the Twitter blog said.

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The company said Trump's Friday tweets violated its Glorification of Violence policy and undermined his previous statements that there would be an orderly transition of power when Biden is inaugurated.

Trump responded Friday evening with a statement to reporters, accusing Twitter of suppressing free speech.

"Twitter may be a private company, but without the government's gift of Section 230 they would not exist for long," he said, referencing the law that protects websites from being punished for users' content.

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"I predicted this would happen. We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future. We will not be silenced!"

On Thursday, Facebook and Instagram banned Trump indefinitely and for at least until after Biden's inauguration.

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Also Friday, Twitter removed the accounts of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump lawyer Sidney Powell as part of a purge of accounts spreading QAnon conspiracy theories.

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"The accounts have been suspended in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity," a Twitter representative told NBC News. "We've been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content."

Siege aftermath: damage to historic U.S. Capitol

Capitol Hill police salute the passing of the funeral hearse on Sunday for slain Officer Brian Sicknick, who died in the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

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