Twitter locks Trump’s account, Facebook and YouTube take down video of his message to supporters


Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have taken down a video in which President Trump addressed his supporters as a mob of pro-Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon. The sites said the video, in which Mr. Trump seemingly sympathized with protesters and repeated false claims about the election, contributed to ongoing violence and violated misinformation policies. 

Twitter then went a step further and locked the president’s account.

In the now-removed video, Mr. Trump told his supporters: “I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us” — a claim he continues to make even after his own attorney general confirmed there was no evidence of such fraud and courts threw out his lawsuits.

The president continued in the video, “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 anybody hurt,” he said, before reverting to a message of defiance: “…There’s 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.” 

“But we cant play into the hands of these people,” he told his supporters. “We love you. You’re very special. You see what happens you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel, but go home and go home in peace.” 

Guy Rosen, who oversees Facebook’s work on safety and integrity, tweeted that the social media site took down Mr. Trump’s video as part of “an emergency situation.” 

“We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence,” Rosen said. 

Twitter first flagged the video and blocked Mr. Trump’s followers from commenting, retweeting or liking the video, before taking it down.

Then Twitter said it was locking the president’s account for 12 hours and requiring the removal of the tweets before it could be reinstated.

“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,” it said in a tweet, adding a link to the policy, which bans “manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes” or posting false information about them.

Earlier in the day, Twitter Safety tweeted that the company is “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.” 

“Threats of and calls to violence are against the Twitter Rules, and we are enforcing our policies accordingly,” Twitter Safety wrote. “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. We are also exploring other escalated enforcement actions and will keep the public updated with any significant developments.” 

YouTube told CBS News in a statement that the company removed the video from the president’s channel because it “violated our policies regarding content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Election.” 

However, the company will allow copies of the video to be uploaded “with additional context and sufficient educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic (EDSA) value.”

The video has remained live on the Trump campaign’s Parler page, where it has gained 1.3 million views.  

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