Two days after social media giant Twitter censored incumbent US President Donald Trump for 12 hours, amidst the violent protests in US Capitol Hill, Twitter has now permanently banned the personal account of Donald Trump (@realdonaldtrump).
In a statement, Twitter said, “After a close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” The social media giant had earlier warned on Wednesday that further ‘violations’ of its rules by the US President would result in termination of the account.
Twitter further added, “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.” It added that such elected leaders are not out of the purview of Twitter rules and cannot use the social media platform to provoke violence. “We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement,” Twitter noted.
Reason behind permanent suspension
On Friday, Donald Trump tweeted, “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!!!” He also informed on Twitter that he would not be attending the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.
Twitter stated that it has assessed both the tweets under the Glorification of Violence policy and concluded that the tweets were likely to encourage further violence and ‘criminal acts’, as witnessed at the US Capitol on Wednesday. The social media giant said that his supporters might consider his tweet to further their belief that the election was not legitimate and chose to attack the inauguration ceremony, knowing that Trump would not attend it.
“The use of the words “American Patriots” to describe some of his supporters is also being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol. The mention of his supporters having a “GIANT VOICE long into the future” and that “They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” is being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an “orderly transition” and instead that he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election,”Twitter reiterated.
Twitter suspends ‘Team Trump’ account
Besides the account of @realdonaldtrump, Twitter has also suspended the handle of @Team Trump after President Trump used the latter account to release a statement.
After Twitter suspended not just President Trump’s account but also other Twitter accounts associated with him, President Trump issued a statement over the shocking action of Twitter to ban free speech saying that micro-blogging site is colluding with Democrats and radical left elements to silence him and the 75 million people who voted for him.
In his tweet from the Team Trump account, President Donald Trump pointed out how he had been saying for a long time that Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech and added that Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left elements to remove his account from their platform, to silence him and the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for him. The President also pointed out that Twitter may be a private company, but the government’s gift of Section 230 they would not exist for long.
“I predicted this would happen. We have been negotiating with various other sites and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future. We will not be SILENCED! Twitter is not about FREE SPEECH,” added POTUS Donald Trump highlighting how the micro-blogging site is all about promoting a Radical Left platform ‘where some of the most vicious people in the world are allowed to speak freely’.
The President of the United States, end his statement to his followers said, “STAY TUNED!”.
Twitter cracks down on official President Trump account
Twitter has also suspended Donald Trump’s official account. He had put out on his official statement, criticising the social media platform for actively engaging in censorship. However, it was soon suspended thereafter
In a now-deleted tweet, outgoing US President Donald Trump said he was looking at “possibilities of building out our own platform in near future”.— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2021
Twitter suspends close aide Michael Flynn, Trump’s aides
The social media giant has also cracked down on Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor who was pardoned by US President after he being prosecuted in Russian election interference probe.
When Trump’s campaign adviser tried to hand over his account to Donald Trump, it was suspended as well.
Appears the Trump campaign’s digital director tried to give Trump his account. Twitter promptly suspended him pic.twitter.com/7ejWL7GjEc— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) January 9, 2021
Capitol Hill violence and Twitter’s initial crackdown
Washington DC had erupted in chaos on Wendesday after supporters of Donald Trump stormed Capitol Hill and breached its premises. Capitol Hill is the seat of the US Senate and the House of Representatives. Protesters had entered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office as well.
Moreover, one woman was shot by law enforcement authorities during the chaos. She is reported to have lost her life. Also, pipe bombs were found at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters. They were detonated after the staff was evacuated.
Donald Trump has addressed his supporters and asked them to go home. However, he continued to maintain that the presidential elections of 2020 were “fraudulent” and “stolen” even as he urged his supporters to “go home in peace”. He emphasized peace and law and order in his message. Twitter had limited the reach of the appeal and Facebook had removed it citing risk of violence.