Twitter Confirms It Halted 'Hang Mike Pence' as a Trending Topic

After "hang Mike Pence" began to trend on Twitter late Friday and early Saturday, the social media company squashed the trend and variations of it.

During Wednesday's riots at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., President Donald Trump's supporters who invaded the building were captured on video chanting, "Hang Mike Pence." The chant was most likely inspired by the vice president's inability to overturn the results of the election in favor of Trump over President-elect Joe Biden.

Photos from the march showed that protesters also erected a noose outside the Capitol and tied nooses out of other objects, like wires from destroyed news equipment that rioters were able to get their hands on.

Video of the mob chanting “hang Mike Pence.” pic.twitter.com/K4EcKK2rab

— American Times Film (@ExportedFromMI) January 9, 2021

They made a noose from the camera cord and hung it from a tree. pic.twitter.com/M9KC7odLAm

— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) January 6, 2021

In a statement received by Newsweek, a Twitter spokesperson said the company has rules about trending subjects. "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. As per our Help Center, there are Rules for trends — if we identify accounts that violate these rules, we'll take enforcement action," the spokesperson said.

According to Twitter's Help Center, rules include preventing trends that break Twitter's rules, include profanity or adult/graphic content, or "Targets the privacy of victims of serious crimes and of minors, who are private figures." Twitter's rules prevent violent threats against individuals as well as the glorification of violence.

Journalist Yashar Ali tweeted a screenshot of the topic trending, indicating that the phrase had been tweeted over 14,000 times. Ali noted that most people were "quot[ing] some of the insurrectionists" at the Capitol, rather than making direct threats against Pence. He wrote that the phrase "shouldn't be allowed to trend."

WTF why is this allowed to trend?

I get that people have been tweeting it to quote some of the insurrectionists but it shouldn't be allowed to trend. pic.twitter.com/HTlSYnoB5y

— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 9, 2021

The phrase appears to have been uttered multiple times during protests and rallies on Wednesday. Reuters photo editor Jim Bourg tweeted that he'd "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." He wrote that some others were less specific in their disturbing fantasies to execute the vice president.

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. It was a common line being repeated. Many more were just talking about how the VP should be executed. https://t.co/fxHREouEWF

— Jim Bourg (@jimbourg) January 8, 2021

A search for the phrase on Twitter now reveals videos of rioters chanting it, calls for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against Trump, and criticism of the phrase and the protesters using it.

Hey @VP the traitors were chanting “hang Mike Pence!” Are you really not going to invoke the 25th? Is that how ball less our Vice President is?
Can you let your wife do it?

— Titus (@TitusNation) January 9, 2021

The rioters wanted to kidnap and hang Mike Pence. For not forsaking his constitutional duties and altering the certified results of an American election.

Who the fuck have we become?

— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) January 9, 2021
Twitter Suspended Trump Trending Topic Pence
Twitter confirmed Saturday it halted "hang Mike Pence" as trending topic. Here the suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump appears on a laptop screen on January 8. Justin Sullivan/Getty