Trump has long played with relative fire when it comes to social media and his rather liberal use of the truth (as he sees it) on various platforms. While many have called for different social media outlets to curb what they see as Trump spreading disinformation, doing so hasn’t always been as easy and/or expedient. But some of that changed on Wednesday when Trump was locked out of both his Twitter and Facebook accounts following the events at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
On Wednesday, in the aftermath of the mind-bogglingly pathetic events that took place at the Capitol in Washington, Trump sent out a series of tweets that continued to challenge the results of November’s Presidential Election. Twitter, deciding that these tweets were not only inaccurate, but possible could stir up further violence, elected to block Trump’s account altogether. They barred him from sending out additional messages. The conditions on the account were that he had to delete said tweets permanently to have it reactivated.
Facebook meanwhile had a similar reaction to Donald Trump’s account, deciding that it was also peddling misinformation and took the action to ban his account for 24 hours. For really anyone, this kind of action is nearly unprecedented. For a sitting President, it sure seems like we’ve entered a new stage of the simulation where the program decided to turn the political aggression up to 10 to see what would happen.
Trump had been coming close to the ban hammer line on both Twitter and Facebook for months now, regularly having his tweets labeled with “this tweet about (you name it) is disputed.” But neither platform went all the way there, likely fearing backlash over free speech concerns. And considering the station of the user (he’s the President of the United States after all) felt they were in a no-win situation regarding the account. That narrative flipped on Wednesday.
Following nearly two months of *debate* around the results of the Presidential Election, on Wednesday, Electoral College votes were set to be certified at the Capitol. But a large group of Trump supporters showed up in Washington ready to protest the results.
What unfolded was surreally stupid with a group actually entering the Capitol building and causing hours’ worth of mayhem. In the end, four protestors were dead and many injured with proceedings having to be delayed. Eventually, Congress reconvened and in the early AM hours certified the election results.
As of this writing, Trump’s Twitter account had been unlocked and he’d deleted the tweets in question. The Facebook 24-hour ban remained in effect. What the next days hold until the Inauguration are anyone’s guess, though on early Thursday Trump did agree to an orderly transfer of power leading into the day.
But that isn’t likely to stop Trump from using social media to his advantage with varying levels of truth in his messages. He’ll have the accounts back for now, but that doesn’t mean we won’t revisit this at some point with both Twitter and Facebook likely more than fed up with his use of the platforms.