Donald Trump will no longer be able to reach the 88 million followers of his Twitter account @realDonaldTrump. Indeed, the blue bird made the tough decision to permanently ban the 45th President of the United States from his platform. A first for a report of this magnitude, which, among other things, results from the events during the capture of the Capitol.
A stalemate that had lasted for several months
It’s a story that has gone on between Twitter and Donald Trump for a long time. In March, the Blue Bird first posted the “Manipulated Media” label on a video retweeted by the President of the United States. Since then, it has become a custom: the social network tirelessly reported every tweet from the White House tenant that contained false or false information, both about the presidential elections and the Covid-19, via various labels.
In the same category
What role did social networks play in the capture of the Capitol?
Measures that apparently did not suit Donald Trump’s taste, who then threatened to “shut down social networks,” particularly with the establishment of a decree calling into question section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. A threat that was insufficient to stop Twitter in its fight against the disinformation campaign led by the President of the United States, on the contrary.
After several warnings, Twitter is putting its threats into action …
During the events of the Capitol Tower, Twitter made the decision to put Donald Trump’s account on hold for 12 hours after the president asked his supporters to calmly return home, but in which he again claimed (and still without evidence) that the election was rigged had been.
After this period, the blue bird unblocked Donald Trump’s account, but warned at the same time: Any other overflow would this time be punished with a definitive ban. It finally took less than 24 hours for the President of the United States to override the rules of the social network. Something that was promised, he implemented his threats by deleting Donald Trump’s account once and for all.
In a blog post, Twitter explained the reasons for the move. Two tweets in particular are affected. In the first, the current President of the United States wrote to his supporters:
“The 75,000,000 great American patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKING AMERICA BIG AGAIN, will continue to have a HUGE VOTE. You will not be disregarded or treated unfairly in any way! “”
Shortly afterwards he outbid:
“I won’t go to the inauguration on January 20th for anyone who asked.”
For Twitter, these two tweets should be read with the current post-Capitol tensions in mind in the United States. Taking this context into account as a whole, the social network felt it went against its policies against the glorification of violence. To be more specific, the blue bird has detailed the five main points of its analysis:
President Trump’s statement that he will not attend the inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was illegitimate and is seen as a rejection of his earlier claim by two tweets from his deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino that there would be an “orderly transition” on January 20th.
The second tweet can also serve as an encouragement for those contemplating acts of violence and considering the initiation a “safe” target as they will not attend.
The use of the words “American Patriots” to describe some of his followers is also interpreted as support for those who committed acts of violence in the United States Capitol.
The mention that his supporters have “a huge voice in the future” and that “they will not be disregarded or treated unfairly in any way” is interpreted as another indication that President Trump does not intend to make an “orderly transition” and is planning instead to continue to support, empower, and protect those who believe they have won the election.
Plans for future armed protests have already begun to spread on and off Twitter, including a planned secondary attack on the US Capitol and State Capitol buildings on January 17, 2021. “
… and Donald Trump tries unsuccessfully to bypass it
Just hours after that announcement, the U.S. president attempted to tweet about at least two other accounts under his control, @POTUS and @TeamTrump. In those tweets, which were quickly deleted by Twitter, Donald Trump specifically complained about the way he was treated by social networks, saying he was negotiating with “various other websites” to get his accounts back. He also stated that he was considering creating his platform “in the near future” before promising his supporters, “We will not be reduced to SILENCE”.
In response to these new statements, a spokesman for the Blue Bird reiterated the position of its platform: “As I said, using a different account to avoid suspension is against our rules. We have taken steps to enforce this rule regarding recent tweets from the @POTUS account. For government accounts like @POTUS and @WhiteHouse, we’re not going to permanently suspend those accounts, but we will take steps to restrict their use. “
Social networks on alert on Donald Trump’s accounts
Twitter isn’t the only social network that made the decision to suspend Donald Trump’s account. On the day of the capture of the Capitol, Snapchat announced through a spokesman that it had taken “a measure to permanently restrict the President’s account”.
Facebook and Instagram initially decided to block Donald Trump’s accounts for 24 hours. After this period, Mark Zuckerberg’s group announced that it would extend its decision indefinitely.
These are obviously big hard blows to Donald Trump. The President of the United States no longer trusted traditional media and had got used to using social networks as privileged communication platforms. By losing the ability to communicate directly with his supporters through his personal accounts, some of his power is amputated.