Donald Trump lashed out at Twitter after the site banned him on Friday evening, taking to the official account of the president of the United States to attack the platform in a series of tweets that were deleted within seconds.
Twitter had given Trump a temporary ban earlier in the week following the attack on the U.S. Capitol, which many blamed on him. Earlier on Wednesday, he had spoken at a rally near the White House, reiterating his unfounded claims of voter fraud and telling his supporters that he would march with them to the Capitol. Trump instead returned to the White House, reportedly watching in excitement as the crowds surrounded the building and attacked.
In the messages posted to the official @POTUS page that belongs to the officeholder, Trump accused Twitter of trying to silence both him and his political supporters.
“As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech, and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me,” he wrote.
As many noted, the tweets were taken down in less than a minute.
“Twitter suspended the @POTUS account within seconds of Trump posting from it,” Vox reporter Aaron Rupar tweeted.
The quickly deleted messages drew some viral attention, with many sharing screenshots and the term POTUS reaching the top of the site’s trends. Many commended the company for taking efforts to silence Trump, though some believed that it should have come much earlier due to what they saw as dangerous messages that could potentially incite violence.
Many have taken aim at Trump in the wake of this week’s attack, saying that his rhetoric encouraged his supporters to be moved to violence. He has launched a number of attacks via Twitter throughout his years in office, and in recent weeks many of his tweets were flagged for making claims of election fraud.
The president and his allies had long accused Twitter and other social media platforms of being biased against conservatives after a number of prominent figures were banned for violations of their rules. It was not clear what the president would do next, though Fox News host and Trump ally Sean Hannity said that Trump was now on the right-wing social media site Parler.