Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday removed a video posted by President Donald Trump in which he falsely claimed that the November election was stolen from him and asked rioters who breached the U.S. Capitol to go home even as he praised them.
In the video, Trump said that he won in a “landslide election” and that the protesters who stormed the Capitol building were “very special.”
Twitter also said it had locked the commander in chief’s account, citing an egregious violation of its policies.
The protest, conducted in an effort to derail ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, sent Washington, D.C., into a forced curfew at 6 p.m. Eastern time. One woman was shot dead in the chaos in the Capitol building.
“This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president for integrity, wrote on social media. “We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”
Twitter removed the video shortly after Facebook.
Multiple Twitter posts from the president — who lost the election by more than 7 million votes — were plastered over with the words: “This Tweet is no longer available.”
Shortly after the error-laden video was published, Alex Stamos, a former top security officer at Facebook, said the social media giants had no choice but to censor the commander in chief.
“Twitter and Facebook have to cut him off,” Stamos tweeted. “There are no legitimate equities left and labeling won’t do it.”
Just after 7 p.m., Twitter said it not only had scrubbed the video, it had locked Trump’s account for at least 12 hours pending the removal of three chirps that were flagged.
“If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked,” Twitter’s safety team wrote in a thread of posts.