Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Facebook and Twitter took the unusual step on Wednesday by shutting down US President Donald Trump’s account on their two platforms after his supporters stormed into Congress to protest the election.
Twitter said it had closed Trump’s account for 12 hours, and warned for the first time that it might permanently suspend it. The company said the temporary account closure reflected Trump’s violation of Twitter’s rules.
Twitter said, “We requested the removal of 3 Tweets from the realDonalTrump @ account posted earlier today due to repeated and serious violations of our civil integrity policy. This means that the @ realDonalTrump account will be closed for 12 hours after these tweets are removed. If the Tweets are not removed, they will remain The account has been closed.
Twitter also added that “future violations … will lead to the permanent suspension of the @ realDonalTrump account.”
Likewise, Facebook, which said it prevented Trump from posting on its platform for 24 hours, after it removed a video clip he had posted of supporters who participated in the riots. Trump will also face a 24-hour ban on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
Facebook said in a tweet: “We have assessed two violations of the policy against President Trump’s page, which will result in a 24-hour ban, which means that he will lose the ability to post on the platform during that time.”
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone did not immediately respond to questions about whether Trump could face a permanent suspension if he continues to violate Facebook’s policies.
The announcement represents a major escalation by social media companies against the Trump account, and he responds to calls from civil rights groups to ban Trump from the platforms.