- Twitter took the extraordinary step on Friday of permanently suspending President Trump’s account, two days after the horrific riots in Washington DC that resulted in five deaths and dozens of arrests.
- Also Friday, prominent Trump surrogates like Gen. Michael Flynn were banned by Twitter.
- An archive of President Trump’s tweets, including his most recent from Friday prior to the ban, can be found in this post.
President Trump’s account on Friday, a dramatic move by the company with just 12 days left to go in the president’s term. In a statement, the company attributed the move — depriving Trump of the social network that, more than anything, helped fuel his foray into politics and ultimately to winning his race for the White House in 2016 — to what it said was the “risk of further incitement of violence” from the Trump Twitter account. Which he was using as recently as Friday morning to communicate directly to his more than 88 million followers.
This does not mean that the president’s tweets are lost though, and you can find an archive at the link at the bottom of this post. The archive includes his most recent tweets from Friday morning, one of which Twitter apparently took to be an indication that the president might use the platform to continue to rile up his supporters: “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,” the president tweeted Friday morning. “They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
In a tweet thread explaining the move, Twitter said that the company has “made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.” Also, the president had already been warned on Wednesday, following the horrific riots in Washington DC in which five people died, that further violations of the company’s rules would result in his account being banned.
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
It should be noted that President Trump’s tweets have not been scrubbed from the Internet by this move. They are accessible in archive form at www.thetrumparchive.com.
On a related note, Friday also saw Twitter take the same step and permanently ban a few Trump surrogates, including Gen. Michael Flynn and former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell — the latter of whom is now being sued by Dominion Voting for her wild allegations of election tampering in November.
NEW: Republican sources have told CNN they do want Trump removed before January 20th and two members have told CNN they would consider voting for impeachment if the articles of impeachment seem reasonable. @jamiegangel reports
— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) January 8, 2021
As if this day could not get any more extraordinary, the House of Representatives appears set to vote on articles of impeachment on Monday — which, if they indeed go through with it, would make Trump the first president to be impeached twice. And another important storyline to watch: Many of Trump’s followers have migrated to Parler, which bills itself as the “free spech” social networking site.
Apple, however, has reportedly sent the company a warning that it might be banned soon from the iPhone maker’s App Store. In a letter to the company from Apple obtained by Buzzfeed, Apple wrote:
“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 DC 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.”
Parler was given 24 hours to submit a “requested moderation improvement plan.”
(UPDATE: Parler is now gone from the Google Play Store. According to Google spokesman Jose Castañeda: “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. 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.”)