Twitter Permanently Suspends Donald Trump’s Account; President Vows “We Will Not Be Silenced”

Twitter Permanently Suspends Donald Trump’s Account; President Vows “We Will Not Be Silenced”

Twitter has suspended the account of President Donald Trump permanently, citing the risk of further incitement to violence amid increasingly vociferous calls for the president to step down.

Twitter blocked Trump from the platform Wednesday (January 6) after “repeated and severe violations” and threatened permanent suspension. That day, his supporters stormed the Capitol following a rally he addressed, stirring them up over his loss to President-elect Joe Biden. In tweets as the violence against lawmakers was ongoing, he called the mob “very special” and posted a video again insisting the election had been stolen. Twitter agreed to reinstate his account after the tweets were removed, with a 12-hour delay. Trump released a video Thursday night in which he attempted to be conciliatory.

Trump has 88 million Twitter followers and it’s been his preferred method of communication for the past four years.

Shortly after the announcement, Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., wrote on the platform, “We are living Orwell’s 1984. Free-speech no longer exists in America. It died with big tech and what’s left is only there for a chosen few. This is absolute insanity!”

On Fox News, Tucker Carlson opened his show by claiming the Twitter ban was a “crackdown on America’s civil liberties,” even though Twitter is a private company. “Actions taken to suppress extremism will cause it,” Carlson said.

Twitter had been under pressure for years to take more aggressive action to limit Trump’s tweets, but refused to do so, citing the company’s guidelines that give world leaders more leeway that regular users.

According to Twitter, if Trump tries to use another account for the purposes of evading the ban, it also will be subject to suspension. The platform will continue to keep government accounts, such as @POTUS and @WhiteHouse, active but will take action to limit their use. The accounts will be transferred to the next administration, and Twitter said that they will not be suspended unless absolutely necessary if there is sign of real world harm.

Trump has repeatedly said that Twitter and other social media platforms are an important way for him to speak to followers and bypass traditional media. His bombastic comments and grievance tweets have been part of his public identity since, well, before he even ran for office, but once he did, they were an unending source of headache for his aides and Republican allies asked to defend them. In fact, Trump’s tweets became kind of a joke among Capitol Hill beat reporters, who routinely were tasked with trying to get reaction from lawmakers on the president’s latest remark, only to be told they had not seen it.

Twitter wasn’t the only social media platform to take actions against Trump. Reddit banned its subreddit group r/Donald Trump after “repeated policy violations in recent days regarding the violence at the U.S. Capitol.”

Facebook, on Thursday, blocked Trump’s account indefinitely and at least for the next two weeks to ensure a smooth transition to power.

Another platform, Parler, has drawn many Trump supporters who claim other social media companies are biased against them. But Apple has threatened to remove the service from its app store unless it changes its content moderation policies. Google, meanwhile, announced that it was suspending Parler’s Google Play listing.

In a statement, Google said, “In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence.

“All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months. We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US. We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content. In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues.”

Twitter’s move was applauded by some of Trump’s staunchest critics, but others said that Trump’s final 12 days have far greater concerns than 280 character posts. “If you can’t be trusted with a Twitter account, you shouldn’t be trusted with the nuclear codes,” wrote Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), who is among the lawmakers working on Articles of Impeachment against Trump.

Following the suspension, Trump posted a message on the official government Twitter account @POTUS, blasting the platform for banning @realdonaldtrump and vowing, “We will not be silenced!” Trump also said that they are “negotiating with “various other sites,” and even looking at the possibilities of “building out our own platform in the near future.”

In his @POTUS tweet, Trump wrote, “As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech, and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great…

“…patriots who voted for me. 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. They are all about promoting a Radical Left platform where some of the most vicious people in the world are allowed to speak freely…

However, Twitter users have been reacting to the news of the suspension of Trump’s account, already making #TrumpBanned one of the highest trending hashtags on the platform.

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  1. Fred
    January 09, 10:13 Reply

    The tweet about his Grindr ban did it for me

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