Chris Sommerfeldt New York Daily News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) On Friday, Twitter released a statement saying, "We have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
Twitter booted President Donald Trump for good on Friday — but he soon found a workaround that let him denounce Twitter bosses on their own platform.
In an unsigned statement, Twitter said permanent suspension was justified after Trump kept posting inflammatory tweets Friday despite being temporarily banned from the platform for inciting the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this week.
“After close review of recent tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the social-media giant said in a statement.
Twitter posted a notice of the suspension on its @TwitterSafety account at 6:21 p.m. EST.
A bit more than two hours later, Trump found his way back on the platform.
“Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me,” Trump wrote on the government’s official @POTUS account at around 8:29 p.m. He went on to complain that Twitter would be out of business without Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The statute generally makes Twitter, Facebook and other online platforms not liable if users post something unlawful or libelous, and also lets platforms edit users’ posts. Conservative critics say the law leads Twitter, Facebook and other platforms to censor them.
“Twitter may be a private company but without the government’s gift of Section 230 they would not exist for long,” Trump wrote on the @POTUS account.
He said Twitter is “all about promoting a Radical Left platform where some of the most vicious people in the world are allowed to speak freely.” The @POTUS tweets were soon deleted — but not before they were copied and widely republished.
It was not immediately clear who deleted the @POTUS posts. Twitter said earlier that Trump won’t be able to start a new handle, and that if “another account is being used for the purposes of evading a ban, it is also subject to suspension.”
Before his permanent ban, Trump’s @realdonaldtrump account was locked for hours after he egged on hundreds of his most hardcore supporters to march to the Capitol on Wednesday and “fight like hell” to stop lawmakers from certifying Joe Biden’s election victory.
In the middle of the riot — which left a police officer and four other people dead — Trump posted a video on Twitter in which he professed his “love” for the far-right thugs and called them “very special.”
In its Friday statement, Twitter noted that it had informed Trump that violations of its policies beyond that video would result in a permanent ban.
Still, Trump thumbed out a tweet Friday morning, in which he claimed his supporters “will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future” and that they “will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” In the context of the “horrific events this week,” Twitter said that post violated its policies against glorifying violence.
“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,” Twitter explained.
Trump has used Twitter for everything from firing Cabinet officials and making policy announcements to insulting political opponents and offering relationship advice to celebrities. He has also made various controversial statements on the website, including threatening to “shoot” Black Lives Matter protesters this past summer.
His successful 2016 campaign was deeply intertwined with his Twitter persona, and it’ll likely be hard for him to ever run for public office again without access to the platform.
Donald Trump, Jr., the outgoing president’s oldest son, claimed his father’s ban was dystopian.
“We are living Orwell’s 1984,” the Trump son tweeted. “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!”
Angelo Carusone, president of the liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America, begged to differ.
“These actions are long past due and appropriate. But, Twitter (and other platforms) doing this now is a lot like senior administration officials resigning with only days left — too little too late,” said Carusone, whose group has long called for a Trump ban on Twitter.
“Trump has repeatedly broken Twitter rules,” said Carusone. “If only Twitter and other platforms had acted earlier, Wednesday’s awful events could have been avoided.”
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