Police preparing for pro-Trump rally at Twitter headquarters

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco police are preparing for a possible protest at Twitter headquarters today after the social media platform suspended President Donald Trump's account.

Barricades have been set up in front of the Twitter building. Employees have been working from home since March.

Twitter banned Trump's account Friday, citing "the risk of further incitement of violence" following the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

Twitter has long given Trump and other world leaders broad exemptions from its rules against personal attacks, hate speech and other behaviors. But in a detailed explanation posted on its blog Friday, the company said recent Trump tweets amounted to glorification of violence when read in the context of the Capitol riot and plans circulating online for future armed protests around the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

The social platform had been under growing pressure to take further action against Trump following the Wednesday violence. On Thursday, Facebook suspended Trump's account through Jan. 20 and possibly indefinitely. Twitter initially suspended Trump's account for 12 hours after he posted a video that repeated false claims about election fraud and praised the rioters who stormed the Capitol.

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The official account for the President of the United States, @POTUS, remains live. In fact, Trump, who issued a statement Friday evening that denounced Twitter as an enemy of free speech and floated the idea that he might build his own "platform," also posted it on the @POTUS account, where it was quickly deleted.

Twitter also suspended the @TeamTrump campaign account after Trump tried to post the same message he had posted to @POTUS.

Twitter says using another account to evade a suspension is against its rules, and that while it won't ban government accounts like @POTUS or @WhiteHouse, it will "take action to limit their use."

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The suspensions are the toughest stance many social media platforms have taken against Trump. Among the videos deleted was the president's address to supporters who stormed the capital.



In the Trump tweets cited by Twitter, Trump stated that he will not be attending the inauguration and referred to his supporters as "American Patriots," saying they will have "a GIANT VOICE long into the future." Twitter said these statements "are likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on Jan. 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so."

Twitter said its policy enables world leaders to speak to the public, but that these accounts "are not above our rules entirely" and can't use Twitter to incite violence. Trump had roughly 89 million followers. Twitter shares fell roughly 4% in after-hours trading, reflecting concerns that the Trump ban might reduce usage and advertising sales.

The Associated Press has contributed to this report.
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