Twitter has been forced to step in and stop ‘Hang Mike Pence‘ trending in the wake of the MAGA mob riot where Donald Trump supporters called for the Vice President’s execution and strung up a noose outside the Capitol.
The phrase was trending on the platform in the early hours of Saturday morning just hours after the social media giant permanently banned Trump citing risks of ‘further incitement to violence’.
A screenshot shows that of 1.26am, over 14,400 Twitter users had used the phrase.
Twitter confirmed in a statement to Newsweek that it had moved to block the phrase because it violated rules on trending subjects.
Twitter has been forced to step in and stop ‘Hang Mike Pence’ trending in the wake of the MAGA mob riot where Donald Trump supporters called for the Vice President’s execution and strung up a noose outside the Capitol
‘We blocked the phrase and other variations of it from trending. We want trends to promote healthy discussions on Twitter. This means that at times, we may prevent certain content from trending,’ a spokesperson said.
‘As per our Help Center, there are Rules for trends – if we identify accounts that violate these rules, we’ll take enforcement action.’
The phrase was no longer trending later in the day and it does not appear on the Twitter Trending USA site, which tracks trending topics.
On Twitter’s Help Center, it has a rule to prevent violent threats against individuals as well as the glorification of violence.
‘WTF why is this allowed to trend?’ journalist Yashar Ali tweeted, adding that many social media users were quoting the mob rather than making threats toward Pence.
‘I get that people have been tweeting it to quote some of the insurrectionists but it shouldn’t be allowed to trend.’
The threatening phrase surfaced online in the wake of Wednesday’s riot where Trump supporters – among them white supremacists, QAnon fanatics and Proud Boys – violently broke into the Capitol building in an attack that left five people dead.
Horrifying footage from the scene of the siege shows a mob chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence’ as they stormed the building.
A Reuters’ photographer covering the riot also claimed he heard at least three Trump supporters speak about hanging the Vice President from a tree as a ‘traitor’.
Jim Bourg, the Reuters News Pictures Editor in DC, tweeted Friday that he heard ‘many more’ speak about executing Pence as they stormed the Capitol and tried to hunt him down.
‘I heard at least 3 different rioters at the Capitol say that they hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor,’ Bourg said.
Horrifying footage from the scene of the siege shows a mob chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence’ as they stormed the building
‘It was a common line being repeated. Many more were just talking about how the VP should be executed.’
Pictures from DC on Wednesday revealed that a noose was erected on a wooden frame on the West Front of the Capitol by the president’s mob.
Some of the crowd also made a noose from a camera cord after they attacked members of the media and destroyed thousands of dollars worth of equipment as journalists and TV crews tried to report on the chaos.
The VP and his family are said to have been able to hear the angry mob shouting ‘where’s Mike Pence’ while they stormed through the building.
The outrage from Trump’s supporters toward Pence came after the president incorrectly claimed the Vice President could put a stop to the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College.
‘States want to correct their votes, which they now know were based on irregularities and fraud, plus corrupt process never received legislative approval,’ Trump wrote on Wednesday morning, just hours before his supporters tried to hunt Pence down.
‘All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States, AND WE WIN. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!’
‘If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency,’ he added.
A noose is seen on makeshift gallows as supporters of Trump stormed the US Capitol Wednesday
A Reuters’ photographer covering the riot claimed he heard at least three Trump supporters speak about hanging VP Mike Pence from a tree as a ‘traitor’
‘Many States want to decertify the mistake they made in certifying incorrect & even fraudulent numbers in a process NOT approved by their State Legislatures (which it must be). Mike can send it back!’
Pence in fact did not have the power to do this – something he made clear in a statement Wednesday and in a conversation with Trump Tuesday.
‘Some believe that as Vice President, I should be able to accept or reject electoral votes unilaterally,’ Pence’s statement read.
‘Others believe that electoral votes should never be challenged in a Joint Session of Congress,’ he continued.
‘After a careful study of our Constitution, our laws, and our history, I believe neither view is correct.’
Some of the crowd also made a noose from camera cord and hung it from a tree after destroying TV crew equipmentn, according to Buzzfeed reporter Paul McLeod
Yet Trump continued to falsely claim that Pence simply lacked the ‘courage’ as he whipped up the crowds at his ‘Stop the Steal’ rally into a frenzy and urged them ‘to fight’.
‘Mike Pence, I hope you get to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country, and if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you,’ Trump said at a rally
Despite fuelling the mob’s anger towards his second-in-command, Trump failed to check in on Pence’s safety during the riot.
Sources said Trump also revoked Vice President Chief of Staff Marc Short’s White House access Wednesday after Mike Pence refused to bow to the president’s demand that he overturn the election.
As well as the violent phrase about executing Pence, Twitter has been busy purging the social media site of content that ‘incites violence’ in the wake of Wednesday’s riot.
Twitter permanently suspended Donald Trump’s account Friday.
The Twitter account of Donald Trump on Friday night after it was permanently suspended
‘After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,’ Twitter said of its ban on Trump.
Twitter then spent Friday night playing whack-a-mole with Trump as he tried to address his supporters on the social media platform through other people’s accounts, leading to a number of them also being suspended.
Earlier Friday, Twitter announced it had suspended the accounts of Trump‘s former election fraud lawyer Sidney Powell, former National Security advisor Mike Flynn, and the founder of 8Chan – now known as 8kun – for promoting QAnon conspiracy theories.
Such efforts to clamp down sparked a flurry of chatter from conservatives that they will stage an exodus from the platform and move to the likes of Parler, which has become known for extremist and inflammatory content.