Ousted President Trump suggested Friday night that he may seek to build his own online platform after Twitter permanently suspended his account less than two weeks before the end of his presidency.
Trump, tweeting from the @POTUS account after Twitter banned @realDonaldTrump, wrote that he and his team are looking at the possibility of “building out our own platform in the near future.”
“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,” he wrote.
“Twitter may be a private company, but without the government’s gift of Section 230 they would not exist for long,” Trump continued, referring to his longstanding criticism of a key liability protection for tech companies that he has pushed to repeal.
“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,” Trump added in a series of tweets. “We will not be SILENCED!”
Trump’s tweets were quickly removed from the page but were viewed before disappearing. A copy of the president’s statement was also shared with reporters covering the White House.
— Josh Wingrove (@josh_wingrove) January 9, 2021
Attempts by Trump to circumvent the ban using the @POTUS or @WhiteHouse handles will be removed, a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill.
“As stated in our ban evasion policy, if it is clear that another account is being used for the purposes of evading a ban, it is also subject to suspension,” the spokesperson said. “For government accounts, such as @POTUS and @WhiteHouse, we will not suspend those accounts but will take action to limit their use.”
Twitter announced earlier Friday night that it would permanently suspend Trump’s main account after determining that his posts pose “the risk of further incitement of violence.” The platform had previously suspended the president from tweeting for 12 hours amid fallout over Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol.
Twitter’s permanent suspension comes as Facebook announced Thursday it would be suspending Trump’s access until at least President-elect Joe Biden‘s inauguration, with the potential for it to be extended further.
Snapchat also suspended Trump indefinitely, and Shopify moved to take down stores run by the Trump organization and Trump campaign after the riot.
A Reddit spokesperson on Friday also announced it would be banning the forum called r/DonaldTrump after repeated violations regarding posts about the riot at the Capitol.
Twitter had previously taken down two of Trump’s posts Wednesday — a video urging his supporters who broke into the Capitol to retreat while simultaneously praising the mob and repeating disputed claims about voter fraud, and another tweet with a similar message.
Following two additional tweets — one of which stated that his voters have been “disrespected” and “treated unfairly,” the other revealing he would not be attending Biden’s inauguration — Twitter announced the decision to permanently ban the president’s personal account.
In a statement, the platform said the president’s 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.”
“After assessing the language in these Tweets against our Glorification of Violence policy, we have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service,” the company added.
Updated: 10:42 p.m.
The Hill’s Celine Castronuovo and Chris Mills Rodrigo contributed.