WASHINGTON — In an unprecedented move, Twitter has locked the account of President Donald Trump and removed two of his tweets from its platform.
The tweets in question included a video in which Trump attempted to calm his supporters who had stormed into the US Capitol and stopped the Electoral College voting in Congress. A woman was shot and killed during the protests in which security was breached in the building and congress was evacuated.
In a later tweet, Trump called the protesters "great patriots" and appeared to blame their actions on the unsubstantiated claim of the presidential election being stolen.
"These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & peace. Remember this day forever!" Trump wrote.
Twitter immediately stuck a warning label on the tweet which continued the president's false allegations.
However, less than an hour later, Twitter removed the video and the later tweet; the first time the social media company had removed any of the president's tweets.
A post from the Twitter Safety account said Trump's Twitter feed will be locked for at least the next 12 hours.
Facebook also removed the short video in which he urged supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday to "go home" while also repeating false accusations about the integrity of the presidential election.
YouTube also said it has removed the Trump video for spreading false claims about widespread election fraud. But a copy of the video was still easy to find as of Wednesday afternoon.
Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of integrity, said on Twitter Wednesday that the video was removed because it "contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence."
The video was issued more than two hours after protesters began storming the Capitol on Wednesday as lawmakers convened for an extraordinary joint session to confirm the Electoral College results and President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
Trump opened his video saying, "I know your pain. I know your hurt. But you have to go home now."
He also went on to call the supporters "very special." He also said: "We can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You're very special."
Republican lawmakers and previous administration officials had begged Trump to give a statement to his supporters to quell the violence. The statement came as authorities struggled to take control of a chaotic situation at the Capitol that led to the evacuation of lawmakers.