President Trump’s preferred means of public communication — Twitter — on Wednesday put him on notice: If he does not stop breaking the platform’s rules, he will be permanently banned.
“Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account,” Twitter officials said in a statement.
The announcement follows Twitter’s taking the unprecedented move of locking Trump’s account for 12 hours following the removal of three tweets that it took down over “severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy.”
Among the tweets that Twitter deleted was a video addressed to supporters who violently swarmed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. In the video, Trump said he loved those supporters, even as he told them to go home. He also fanned conspiracy theories that the presidential election was stolen from him.
Twitter, taking the boldest enforcement action to date against Trump, has faced months of accusations that it has not done enough to limit the spread of election-related falsehoods and incitements of violence sent from the president to his millions of followers.
The social media platform has slapped warning labels on some of Trump’s tweets to limit their spread, and it has tried other ways to prevent them from going viral. But many onlookers say Twitter has been ineffective in curbing the reach of Trump’s misleading or dangerous material.
“As someone who has served on your Trust and Safety Board since its inception and counseled you since 2009, time is now to suspend President Trump’s account,” said Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Virginia, in a tweet. “He has deliberately incited violence, causing mayhem with his lies and threats.”