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Twitter freezes Trump account

TWITTER locked the account of US President Donald Trump for 12 hours and threatened its permanent suspension following his baseless claims about the US presidential elections amid riots at the US Capitol.

The social media platform hid and required the removal of three of Trump’s tweets “as a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C.

Pro-Trump protesters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to force Congress to overturn the election results, where one woman was shot and killed inside the Capitol building in the chaos.

If the tweets are not removed, the account would remain locked, Twitter said, meaning the president would be unable to tweet from @realDonaldTrump. Facebook Inc and YouTube, owned by Alphabet’s Google, also removed a video in which Trump continued to allege the presidential election was fraudulent.

Tech companies have been under pressure to police misinformation on their platforms around the US election, including calls by users on Wednesday for major platforms to suspend Trump’s accounts.

The president and his allies have continuously spread unsubstantiated claims of election fraud that have proliferated online. Trump on Wednesday blamed Vice President Mike Pence for lacking “courage” to pursue those claims in a tweet that Twitter later took down.

YouTube said Trump’s video violated its policy against content that alleges “widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 US Election.”

YouTube spokesman Farshad Shadloo said. Both Facebook and Twitter had originally added labels and measures to slow the video’s spread. Dozens of Facebook staffers called for executives to clarify how they were handling Trump’s posts, with some calling for his account to be taken down inciting the violence at the Capitol.

“Can we get some courage and actual action from leadership in response to this behavior? Your silence is disappointing at the least and criminal at worst,” one employee wrote.

The Anti-Defamation League called for social media companies to suspend Trump’s accounts permanently, saying the events at the Capitol resulted from “fear and disinformation that has been spewed directly from the Oval Office.”

Former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos tweeted: “Twitter and Facebook have to cut him off.”