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Author Topic: Twitter permanently suspends Trump’s account  (Read 664 times)

Offline Yakub Oloyede

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Twitter permanently suspends Trump’s account
on: January 09, 2021, 01:40:51 AM

Twitter on Friday permanently suspended President Donald Trump from the site, meting out its toughest punishment two days after a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Twitter said Trump’s recent tweets — praising his supporters as “great American patriots” and announcing he would not attend the inauguration of Joseph Biden as the next president of the United States — together threatened to ratchet up tensions in a country still reeling from the violent, pro-Trump mob that stormed the House and Senate.
The suspension amounted to a historic rebuke for a president who had used the social-networking site to rise to political prominence. Twitter had been Trump’s primary megaphone, the tool he tapped to push his policies, drive political news cycles, disperse advantageous falsehoods, savage his opponents and speak to more than 88 million supporters and critics almost every day.

Twitter had resisted taking action against Trump for years, even as critics called on the company to suspend him, out of a belief that a world leader should be able to speak to his or her citizens unfettered. But Trump’s escalating tweets casting doubt on the 2020 election — and the riot at the U.S. Capitol his comments helped inspire — led the company to reverse course.

In doing so, Twitter joined Facebook in punishing the president in the waning hours of his first term.

Facebook said Thursday its suspension is indefinite, lasting at least the next two weeks, citing a similar belief that the risks are “simply too great” at a moment of transition for the country. Both tech giants previously joined Google-owned YouTube in removing or limiting access to Trump’s posts, including a video he shared earlier this week that once against advanced widely disproved falsehoods about the validity of the 2020 vote.

Twitter said it delivered its final banishment out of a concern that Trump’s tweets essentially amounted to a “glorification of violence.” The company said his stated intention to skip the inauguration essentially served as “further confirmation that the election was not legitimate.”

Trump’s rallying cry to his supporters, meanwhile, served as “encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts“ — partly because the president made clear he would not be attending Biden’s official swearing-in ceremony.

The decision marked a dramatic departure from Twitter’s prior approach to Trump. And in considering how his supporters might read and interpret his messages, it potentially opened the door for the company to take a more aggressive approach on other content, including tweets from political leaders, in the future, experts said.

That’s a standard that’s never existed,” said Alex Stamos, a former Facebook chief security officer, now head of Stanford Internet Observatory, a disinformation research group. “The ‘impact’ standard has never existed.”

Stamos added that Twitter’s action — and Facebook’s recent enforcement efforts — meant that "the right-wing social media ecosystem in America has been shattered.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The move comes amid a wave of criticism from Democratic lawmakers and Twitter’s own employees, who demanded in a letter written this week that the company’s leaders permanently suspend Trump’s account.

In an internal letter addressed to chief executive Jack Dorsey and his top executives viewed by The Washington Post, roughly 350 Twitter employees requested an investigation into the past several years of corporate actions that led to Twitter’s role in the insurrection.

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