The microblogging platform Twitter banned U.S. President President Trump, because of inciting violence at the U.S. Capitol, subsequently taking his long used method of communication with his fans and his more than 88 million followers.
Twitter has long been Trump’s primary communication tool to push policies, share news, fire aids and officials, spread his own opinions, savage rivals and opponents, and praise allies and whoever he likes.
With @realDonaldTrump getting the kick, Twitter is permanently suspending President Donald Trump from accessing his account. .
The move marks a historical rebuke for a President of a country, who used the platform to help his rise to political prominence and to the office.
Twitter's decision follows Facebook's move a day earlier to block Trump "indefinitely," citing the risks to the President continuing to use the platform. Facebook's ban at this time is planned to last for at least two weeks, or until President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
"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," the company said in a tweet.
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.https://t.co/CBpE1I6j8Y
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021
On its blog post, Twitter wrote that:
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. 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. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.
Twitter admitted that in the past, it was easy on Trump because he is simply the President. Once, twice, thrice, and so on, Trump's executive position allowed him to continue posting tweets that should have banned any other users on the platform.
The issue here, peaked on January 8th, 2021.
Donald Trump tweeted:
Shortly after that, Trump tweeted another tweet:
Due to the tensions that happen in the U.S., and due to violent protestors that gathered and stormed the Capitol on January 6, Twitter considered the two tweets from Trump to be partly causing the issue, saying that "the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence."
Because of that, "after assessing the language" Trump used in the two tweets, Twitter decided that Trump was against its Glorification of Violence policy, determining that the two tweets "are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy".
As a result, "the user @realDonaldTrump should be permanently suspended from the service.
Initially, The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Trump appeared to try to defy Twitter’s ban by using the @POTUS Twitter account, and later his @TeamTrump campaign account, both of which were later suspended as well.
“We will not be SILENCED!” @POTUS tweeted before it was taken down.
However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021
The move also marks a historical and a remarkable decision for an internet company that once called itself “the free speech wing of the free speech party.”
The challenges the U.S. face kept coming as Trump’s presidency brought mainstream attention to several right-wing ideas that were once considered beyond the scope of politics. And when the U.S. election approached in the late 2020, disinformation was at its peak.
Democrats and civil rights activists demanded tougher action from tech companies, where false information is hosted. They indeed got the attention they need, but at that time, Trump and other Republicans were loudly claiming that they were being discriminated against by Silicon Valley.
As a result, the critics quickly faded.
And this move in Twitter banning Donald Trump, followed waves of criticisms from Democratic lawmakers, as well as from Twitter’s own employees, who demanded in a letter that CEO Jack Dorsey to suspend Trump’s account.
“Despite our efforts to serve the public conversation, as Trump’s megaphone, we helped fuel the deadly events of January 6th,” the employees wrote. “We request an investigation into how our public policy decisions led to the amplification of serious anti-democratic threats. We must learn from our mistakes in order to avoid causing future harm.”
“We play an unprecedented role in civil society and the world’s eyes are upon us. Our decisions this week will cement our place in history, for better or worse,” the employees added.