SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A demonstration by supporters of President Donald Trump to protest his ban from the Twitter social media platform outside the company’s San Francisco headquarters appeared to be a bust Monday morning.
The protest was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., but an hour later only a mere handful of protesters had showed up. There were no crowds along the police barriers erected outside Twitter’s Market street headquarters.
Inside the headquarters, the halls and offices were mostly empty as thousands of employees have been working remotely in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak since mid-March 2020.
In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday night, a company spokesman said Twitter respects “people’s right to express their views.”
“While we respect people’s right to express their views, we’ve been transparent about the factors leading up to our decision last week,” the spokesperson said in an email. “We have nothing to add but wanted to confirm that we continue to have mandatory work from home guidance for Twitter employees.”
The San Francisco police said they have plans in place — including the calling in of mutual aide from nearby law enforcement agencies — if needed.
But on Monday morning the contingent of officers at the building stood along the barriers with no protesters on the other side. A lone man stood on an traffic island with a sign reading — “Impeach, Remove Today.”
“SFPD has been in contact with representatives from Twitter,” Officer Adam Lobsinger said “We will have sufficient resources available to respond to any demonstrations as well as calls for service citywide…The San Francisco Police Department is committed to facilitating the public’s right to First Amendment expressions of free speech. We ask that everyone exercising their First Amendment rights be considerate, respectful, and mindful of the safety of others.”
Twitter announced Friday afternoon it had permanently suspended Trump’s account over concerns his tweets could incite violence.
In a statement the company released regarding the suspension, it said that Twitter officials had reviewed Trump’s tweets this past week and determined they violated the site’s policies.
The suspension comes just days after Trump supporters took over the U.S. Capitol by force, resulting in the deaths of five people and the evacuation of Congress from the building when the legislative body planned to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election win.
“In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action,” Twitter wrote at the time. “Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open.”
“However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things.”
The statement includes Twitter’s documentation of Trump’s tweets that violated the website’s “glorification of violence” standards.
One of Trump’s tweets violating this standard said read:
“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
Twitter also suspended the accounts of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell for sharing posts about the web of conspiracy theories known as QAnon.
The social media giant had suspended the President’s account for twelve hours on Wednesday. The platform made several of his posts “unavailable” after his supporters overran Capitol Hill, and then temporarily locked the president’s account.
Twitter wasn’t alone in taking action against the President. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube also suspended Trump accounts and Amazon, Apple and Google have all booted pro-Trump Parler off their platforms.
Amazon removed Parler, the alternative social media platform favored by conservatives, from its cloud hosting service, Amazon Web Services, Sunday evening, effectively kicking it off of the public internet after mounting pressure from the public and Amazon employees.