(Pocket-lint) - In response to US President Donald Trump's tweets as well as discussions of future armed protests in Washington DC, Twitter has permanently banned the President from its platform.
When did Twitter ban Trump?
- Twitter banned the President on 8 January 2021
- The ban follows an attack at the Capitol on 6 January 2021
Twitter announced its decision to ban the President two days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol Building on 6 January, leaving five dead including a police officer. “After a 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 Friday.
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
Why did Twitter ban Trump?
- Twitter said the President's last tweets risked inciting more violence
- Twitter warned of a possible secondary attack at the Capitol
When the pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol Building Wednesday, rioters successfully disrupted Congress’ certification of Joe Biden as the President-elect. Twitter later restricted the President's account when he continued tweeting more lies about the election being stolen, determining he “repeated severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy”. Twitter blocked his ability to tweet for 12 hours.
At the time, Twitter also warned President Trump he could be permanently banned if he continued to violate its rules.
However, once he regained control of his account, he sent more tweets to confirm he will not attend the Inauguration of Biden. He also referred to his supporters as "American Patriots" in his tweets. Twitter suggested pro-Trump supporters could view those tweets as a walk-back of his claims Thursday, when he finally admitted there would be an “orderly transition” of power on 20 January.
The President specifically told his supporters on Friday they will have a “GIANT VOICE long into the future", and they "will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” Twitter thought his supporters could perceive those messages as a confirmation the election was not legitimate, and that he admires his supporters for committing violent acts at the US Capitol in his name.
In response to the chaos, more than 300 Twitter employees signed a petition Friday calling for the President to be permanently banned. “We must examine Twitter’s complicity in what President-Elect Biden has rightly termed insurrection. Those acts jeopardise the wellbeing of the US, our company, and our employees,” the employees wrote, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Twitter ultimately surmised Friday that President Trump's tweets since regaining control of his account were “highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts”. Twitter also revealed plans for future armed protests, saying they've "begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on 17 January".
Here is a portion of Twitter's lengthy explanation, published in a blog Friday:
“Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks."
What if Trump makes another account?
- Twitter will remove tweets from the President under any handle
- It will suspend any new accounts he tries to create
Twitter also The Verge Friday that if President Trump uses the still-active @POTUS account, it would remove the tweets, and if he tries to make a new account at all, it would permanently suspend that account "at first detection". Like clockwork, President Trump tried tweeting from @POTUS as well as other accounts. All the tweets were deleted, and some of the accounts suspended.
Is Trump banned elsewhere?
- Facebook indefinitely banned the President on its properties
- Facebook's ban will last at least through to 20 January 2021
As for how other social networks are handling the President, Facebook too put an “indefinite” ban on him, but only through to Inauguration Day.
It must be noted that social networks began taking action against the President only after the Democratic Party won control of the Senate on 5 January, the first time it's held a majority in both the House and the Senate of Congress in a decade, giving it the power to oversee Big Tech.