TWITTER permanently suspended not only Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account on Friday, but also his campaign account, prompting the president to tweet from the presidential @POTUS account, which Twitter then subsequently deleted.
In a rapid succession of tweets and bans, the social media platform suspended Trump‘s personal @realDonaldTrump account on Friday evening in light of Wednesday’s Capitol riot, and quickly deleted his tweets in response using @POTUS.
The Trump campaign account then tweeted the same content tweeted by Trump, prompting Twitter to then suspend that account as well, as Twitter’s rules do not allow for a person who has been banned to circumvent a ban through another account.
In the now-deleted @POTUS tweets, Trump claimed that “Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me” and the “75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me.”
Trump said he predicted that Twitter would try to silence him and that the company would not exist for long if it were not for Section 230, which protects websites from lawsuits if users post illegal content.
The president said he has been negotiation with “various other sites” and would have a “big announcement soon,” and possibly build his own platform.
“We will not be SILENCED! Twitter is not about FREE SPEECH,” Trump tweeted.
“They are all about promoting a Radical Left platform where some of the most viscous people in the world are allowed to speak freely.”
While Twitter deleted those tweets, it did not suspend the @POTUS account, which Trump did not use to share his more controversial thoughts.
The social media giant also played a game of whack-a-mole as it moved to suspend accounts of Trump allies he used to get his message out after the @POTUS tweets were deleted.
Next to be suspended was the Trump 2020 campaign Twitter account which tweeted the president’s words.
The campaign’s digital director Gary Coby soon followed after appeared to change his username to Donald J. Trump and in a tweet.
He then handle over to the president’s Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino, who was has been tweeting on behalf of Trump following his suspension in the wake of the Capitol Hill riot.
Trump loyalists, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell have also permanently banned by Twitter.
YouTube account for Steve Bannon’s ‘War Room’ podcast was “terminated for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service”.
In a tweet on Friday evening, Twitter Safety wrote: “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.”
Twitter Safety continued in its statement that “in the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action.”
The social media network explained that its public interest framework is designed to allow the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly and is built on the principle that “people have a right to hold power to account in the open.”
Twitter Safety said that such accounts are not above its rules and that leaders “cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things.”
The social media company said it would continue to be transparent about its polices and enforcing them, and provided a “comprehensive analysis” of its approach in Trump‘s case.
The company also said in another statement that it would respect government accounts but only if it does not break its rules.
“As we’ve said, using another account to try to evade a suspension is against our rules. We have taken steps to enforce this with regard to recent Tweets from the @POTUS account,” the company told TechCrunch.
“For government accounts, such as @POTUS and @WhiteHouse, we will not suspend those accounts permanently but will take action to limit their use.”
In its blog post, Twitter said that Trump on Friday tweeted: “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!!!”
Shortly after, Trump tweeted: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Twitter stated that an “uptick in the global conversation” on Trump supporters storming the Capitol means that “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 social media giant said it assessed the language of Trump’s tweets against its Glorification of Violence policy and determined they were in violation.
“The user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service,” Twitter concluded.
The policy aims to prevent glorification of violence that could inspire other people to engage in violent acts.
Twitter determined that Trump’s tweets “were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.”
The determination was based on five factors that Twitter laid out in bullet points.
First, Twitter claimed that Trump’s statement that he would not be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration “is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate.”
Trump’s supporters are also interpreting Trump’s words as him “disavowing” his own statement put out by Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino on Thursday that there will be an “orderly transition,” according to Twitter.
In his statement shared by Scavino, Trump also said that the “fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted” will continue and that “it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”
Twitter claimed that statement “may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a ‘safe’ target, as [Trump] will not be attending.”
The social media company said that plans for future armed protests have already grown on and off its platform, including a second attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings proposed on Jan. 17, three days before the inauguration.
Twitter began taking action against Trump by blocking some of his tweets from public view on Wednesday and requiring him to delete them in order to access his account again.
After they were deleted, Twitter locked Trump out of his account for another 12 hours, and warned that more violations could lead to permanent suspension.
Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Trump’s account came after Facebook extended its 24-hour suspension of the president’s account, indefinitely.
On Friday night, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham slammed Twitter, claiming that it allows the Ayatollah to tweet, but not the president.
“Twitter may ban me for this but I willingly accept that fate: Your decision to permanently ban President Trump is a serious mistake,” Graham tweeted.
Graham added that he is “more determined than ever to strip Section 230 protections from Big Tech (Twitter) that let them be immune from lawsuits.”
The senator said that the time has come for Congress to repeal the section and “put Big Tech on the same legal footing as every other company in America.”
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Graham came to Trump’s defense after breaking from the president on Wednesday in light of MAGA fans storming the Capitol.
“All I can say is, count me out. Enough is enough,” Graham said at the time.
Trump had 88.7 million Twitter followers before the suspension, and used the platform regularly to speak to and rally up his supporters.