Blocks tweets by campaign, allies
President Trump has deleted three tweets that sent his account into lockdown Wednesday night, a Twitter spokesman told Fox News, and he will have the ability to tweet again once the 12-hour lockout is complete.
The president’s account was suspended Wednesday night after posting a video telling protesters who stormed the Capitol Building, erupting in violent protests which led to multiple deaths, to "go home," while maintaining that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from him.
A Twitter spokesperson told Fox News on Thursday morning that the "12-hour lockout" begins when the tweets in question are deleted by the account owner. It is unclear what time the president took action to remove the video and subsequent tweet, but he is expected to regain his ability to tweet 12 hours after he did so.
Twitter removed the president’s video before suspending his account and warning that further violations of the platform’s policies could result in a "permanent suspension."
But the account user is required to delete the tweets on their own to trigger the 12-hour lockout and regain access.
At the time that Twitter suspended the president's account, he had not yet deleted the three tweets.
"In regard to the ongoing situation in Washington, D.C., we are working proactively to protect the health of the public conversation occurring on the service and will take action on any content that violates the Twitter Rules," Twitter said in a statement Wednesday night. "Threats of and calls to violence are against the Twitter Rules, and we are enforcing our policies accordingly."
"In addition, we have been significantly restricting engagement with Tweets labeled under our Civic Integrity Policy due to the risk of violence. This means these labeled Tweets will not be able to be replied to, Retweeted, or liked," Twitter added, noting that they are also "exploring other escalated enforcement actions and will keep the public updated with any significant developments."
"This means that the account of @RealDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these tweets," Twitter posted. "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 said.
In the president's video, addressing supporters, he said: "I know your pain, I know your hurt."
"We had an election that was stolen from us," Trump said in the video taped from the White House. "It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side."
Trump's legal team has not successfully proven in court that the election was "stolen," and the Electoral College results certified by the states and Congress show that President-elect Joe Biden won the election 306-232.
He added: "But you have to go home now. We have to have peace, we have to have law and order we have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anyone hurt."
The president went on to say that it is a "very tough period of time—there has never been a time like this where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us— from me, from you, from our country."
"This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people," Trump said. "We have to have peace." State and local election officials say they have not found evidence of widespread voter fraud that would have changed the results of the election.
Trump added: "So go home, we love you, you're very special, you’ve seen what happens, you’ve seen the way others are treated that are so bad, so evil. I know how you feel."
"But go home and go home in peace," he said.
The president, after posting the video, tweeted: "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long," Trump tweeted. "Go home with love & peace."
He added: "Remember this day forever!"
Both the video and the tweet, along with another earlier message, were flagged and removed by Twitter.
Before their removal, a Twitter spokesperson said: "In line with our Civic Integrity Policy and recent guidance, we have placed a label on the Tweet, and have significantly restricting engagement with the Tweet due to the risk of violence."
The spokesperson added: "This means this Tweet will not be able to be replied to, Retweeted, or liked."
Twitter’s initial flag on Trump’s video message and tweet stated: "This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence."
Facebook also removed the video and locked the president’s account. A Facebook spokesman told Fox News Trump will have the ability to post on the platform again at some point on Thursday night.
Instagram also locked the president's account Wednesday night.
Earlier in the day, before the unrest at the Capitol began, the president addressed his supporters at a pro-Trump rally and railed against Big Tech and social media.
"Twitter's bad news," Trump said. "They're all bad news. If you want to go through social media, Big Tech, if you're a Republican or have a big voice, they shadow ban you."
He added: "And it should be illegal."
The president also said he has "been telling these Republicans to get rid of Section 230."
Republicans have questioned whether social media giants should still be afforded liability protections under Section 230 — a rule that shields social media companies from being held liable for content on their platforms, while allowing them to moderate that content.