Back after the trespassing incident at the Capitol, Twitter decided to kick Trump off the platform, ridiculously and falsely claiming that he was using the platform to incite violence. It then decided to make that decision permanent, having this to say on the matter in a blog statement saying:
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.
In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open.
However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.
The same post cites two Trump tweets: “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!!!” and “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th” as being against its glorification of violence policy, next saying:
Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks. After assessing the language in these Tweets against our Glorification of Violence policy, we have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.
Even more absurdly, at least according to those on the right who disagreed with the policy, the Twitter statement then gave a number of “Factors” that meant Trump had glorified violence, saying:
- President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate and is seen as him disavowing his previous claim made via two Tweets (1, 2) by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Dan Scavino, that there would be an “orderly transition” on January 20th.
- The second Tweet may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a “safe” target, as he will not be attending.
- The use of the words “American Patriots” to describe some of his supporters is also being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol.
- 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.
- Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.
Well, while that might have been “permanent” under the old owners of Twitter, there are rumors that it’s not permanent any longer and that the former President, himself a famed Twitter troll, could soon be coming back to the platform.
Kyle Becker of Trending Politics and Becker News wrote on that, saying:
Twitter will be carrying out a review of the president’s tweets that were purportedly the cause of his suspension. As one source told Becker News, the grounds for his suspension rest on a “very narrow” and “thin” line-of-reasoning
Now that’s good news. But it gets better. Elon Musk, in a statement earlier this month about censorship, said that he was “very cautious with permanent bans” on Twitter and would prefer a timeout system to a permanent suspension of the sort Trump got. This policy statement has direct implications for Donald Trump’s account, as he’s obviously served more than enough time in “time out” over the past year and a half.
Trump, for his part, has hedged, saying in a statement to Fox News “I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH. I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on TRUTH.”
We’ll see how long that holds if he gets his Twitter account and its over 80 million followers back, particularly if he decides to run for President again.