Trump was dealt with some pretty bad news for his personal brand and lines of communication on Saturday night when social media platform Twitter made the rather unprecedented move to permanently ban his account.
Twitter cited the reason for the permanent banning of Trump as the “inciting of violence” from the account, stemming from the events of January 6th. It was then when a crowd of Trump supporters gathered and entered the Capitol building while Congress was meeting to certify the Electoral College results of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
The situation turned ugly with protestors entering the building and when it was all said and done, four were dead and many injured.
The decision by Twitter to ban Trump’s account followed two tweets he sent out on Saturday evening. Those are, obviously, no longer visible, but they read like this:
“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!!!”
The second was this:
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Twitter cited that, in the context of other events and actions on the parts of those in Washington D.C. and elsewhere, these tweets constituted inciting and glorifying violence.
In previous days, Trump had a 24-hour suspension of his account during which Twitter demanded he remove a series of tweets they felt constituted extreme falsehoods. He did ultimately remove those tweets and the account was turned back on. But obviously, it didn’t last long.
And it’s likely the decision to ban Trump was a cumulative effect of months of disagreements between the President and the platform about what constituted “truth” when it came to tweets being sent out. Twitter had been constantly labeling and limiting Trump’s tweets with warning labels like “This claim about election fraud is disputed”. Those tweets were labeled and certain actions were limited in terms of sharing and commenting.
Now, this isn’t the first time Twitter has permanently banned a user account. That kind of thing happens many times on the daily. But banning someone as high profile (which is an understatement) as Trump definitely is about as big a move as they’ve ever made. At the time of his banning, the account had close to 89 million followers. At the time of the banning, Trump’s account ranked 6th on the platform for most followers trailing only Barack Obama, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Rhianna, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
For what it’s worth, suspending an account and deleting account are slightly different. Suspension means there’s a chance, at some point, the account can be turned back on if certain guidelines are met. The account is still “there” but simply can’t be used and previous tweets aren’t available to read.
Twitter also has a policy regarding users evading suspensions by tweeting from different accounts. That issue cropped up as well when the @potus and @WhiteHouse accounts were accessed by Trump to send out additional tweets. Those messages were quickly taken down as well and the accounts themselves were given restrictions.
This is a developing story and one likely to be front and center in headlines from now until Inauguration Day and likely beyond. Such is the state of Trump’s preferred form of communication throughout his presidency.