Twitter suspended President Donald Trump’s account for good on Friday, announcing that the president’s voice on the platform will never return “due to the risk of further incitement of violence” following statements he made before rioters “violently stormed the Capitol” on Wednesday.
What are the details?
In a message from Twitter’s “safety” account, the company declared, “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 attached a link to its explanation for Trump’s permanent suspension, noting that the social media giant had warned Wednesday—when it suspended the president for 12 hours—”that additional violations of Twitter rules would potentially result in this very course of action.”
Twitter pointed to two posts from the president on Friday that led to his ban. The first read, “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!!!”
The second post read: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
In its analysis, Twitter reasoned that “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.”
The company provided a number of bullet points explaining their assessment:
- President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate and is seen as him disavowing his previous claim made via two Tweets (1, 2) by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Dan Scavino, that there would be an “orderly transition” on January 20th.
- The second Tweet may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a “safe” target, as he will not be attending.
- 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.
- Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.
The Washington Post reported Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and other top executives in the firm received an email this week from roughly 350 Twitter employees demanding “that the company’s leaders permanently suspend Trump’s account.”
The calls for censorship of the president were also made by several congressional Democrats.
On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Trump would be banned from the platform and Facebook-owned Instagram “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
Fox News’ Sean Hannity announced that Trump has joined social media site Parler, an alternative to Twitter. However, Parler itself is now threatened with being de-platformed entirely.
Buzzfeed News reported Friday, “Apple has given Parler, the social network favored by conservatives and extremists, an ultimatum to implement a full moderation plan of its platform within the next 24 hours or face expulsion from the App store.”
In a letter sent to Parler executives obtained by the outlet, Apple explained, in part:
“We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property. The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.”