Donald Trump and family watch on ahead of Washington riots
The social media giants have pulled the plug in the US President’s accounts amid fears his incendiary posts could spark further violence in the run-up to Joe Biden’s January 20 inauguration ceremony. Mr Tusk, the former President of the European Council, responded to the announcement of the ban with the message: “I’ll be tweeting anyway. Donald T.”
Don’t be so smug. If it can happen to the president of the USA it can happen to anyone
But there was a swift backlash on Twitter with many users furious at Mr Tusk’s jibe.
Eszter Párkányi warned: “Don’t be so smug. If it can happen to the president of the USA it can happen to anyone.”
Another critic tweeted: “Donald, why aren’t you defending freedom of speech?
“I forgot, you were never in favour of free speech when it concerns your opponents.”
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Another said: “We know, we know you Brussels troll.
“After all, that’s the only thing left for you.”
Another critic tweeted: “A new low. Unbelievable.”
While another said: “You have never been elected by anybody anyway.”
The row erupted after Mr Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”.
It was a significant move against the man who joined the site in 2009 and built his run to the presidency on the back of his online popularity, which led to him finishing his time on Twitter with almost 89 million followers.
In a statement, Twitter said it had decided to take action against Mr Trump’s account after a review of two of the President’s tweets found they had violated its glorification of violence policy.
The tweets were “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” and “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th”.
The firm said the refusal to attend Mr Biden’s inauguration was being received by Mr Trump’s supporters as “further confirmation that the election was not legitimate” and him disavowing his previous claim there would be an “orderly transition”.
It claimed the second tweet may also “serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a ‘safe’ target, as he will not be attending”.
Following the ban, Twitter later deleted two tweets apparently issued by Mr Trump on the POTUS account, and also suspended the TeamTrump account after it spread a statement from the president.
The statement said: “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.
“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.”
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It continued: “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.
“However, 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.
“We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.”
The decision comes after supporters of Mr Trump stormed the US Capitol building in Washington on Wednesday in protest at his election loss to Mr Biden, leading to violent clashes and the deaths of five people.
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