Twitter will not permit the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, a federal agency responsible for preserving historically significant records, to make former U.S. President Donald Trump’s old tweets available on the social media platform. This is just the latest example of Big Tech exerting its power and influence over a government entity. In January, Twitter banned the then President of the United States, Donald Trump in the wake of the U.S. Capitol riot.
The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is seeking to create an online official archive of Trump’s tweets during his time serving as U.S. President, including the tweet Twitter permanently suspended him for. NARA already maintains the online archives of several Trump-era officials, which users can like, retweet and interact with.
Twitter’s decision has added more fuel to the fire of the Big Tech censorship debate in Washington D.C. Just a couple of days ago, Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court was critical of the Big Tech social media companies who “control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties,” paving a legal path for the U.S. Congress to step in.
Twitter is dead set against any version of Donald Trump’s tweets reappearing on its platform, accusing Trump of glorifying violence in the wake of the U.S. Capitol riot.
“Given that we permanently suspended @realDonaldTrump, the content from the account will not appear on Twitter as it did previously or as archived administration accounts do currently, regardless of how NARA decides to display the data it has preserved,” a Twitter spokesperson wrote in an email statement.
NARA is proceeding with its role of archiving and preserving Trump’s tweets, “working to make the exported content available … as a download” on the Trump Presidential Library website. This means that Trump’s tweet will most probably be officially available in the form of a download file, not on Twitter where users can like, retweet or interact with them.
NARA spokesperson James Pritchett confirmed that NARA’s records will include all of @realDonaldTrump’s tweets, regardless of any actions that Twitter took against some of them.
“NARA intends to provide public access to all captured and preserved Presidential Record social media, including any blocked or deleted Tweets that have been transferred to us,” he said.
Twitter’s decision means that even an archived version of former U.S. President Trump will not be permitted on the platform. Just last week, Facebook removed a video of Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump interviewing the former President, citing the “voice of Donald Trump” as its reason.
Donald Trump’s de-platforming from virtually all social media sties has drawn harsh criticism from not only Republicans, but even Left wing Progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders who said he did not “feel particularly comfortable” about the Twitter’s ability to silence a former president.
However, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has defended the Trump ban, calling it the “right decision” for handling “an extraordinary and untenable” situation.