Twitter on Friday permanently deleted President Trump's personal account, @realDonaldTrump, over fears the election loser's tweets could incite further mayhem in America.
"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," the biz said in a blog post.
The official Twitter account of whoever is President of the United States, @POTUS, remains active, and is due to be handed to President-elect Joe Biden once he is inaugurated on January 20. The Register understands Twitter will take a dim view of someone (cough, cough, Donald) using that particular handle in the meantime to circumvent today's ban. Twitter will also ban any new accounts created by tweet-addict Trump.
Earlier this week, following the deadly intrusion into the US Capitol by armed pro-Trump rioters – egged on by the President and bent on derailing the confirmation of Biden's election win – Twitter suspended Trump's account. The President was told he could regain access following the removal of three rule-violating tweets and a 12-hour cooling off-period.
Trump deleted the tweets as required, and access was restored, but it didn't last long. On Friday, the President tweeted:
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!!!
That was followed by:
To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.
Twitter said it made clear on Wednesday that further rule violations would not be tolerated. And the biz, headed by Jack Dorsey, has concluded that these two tweets, in the context of the ransacking of the Capitol this week, run afoul of its rules. The fact that Trump's virtually out of power and no longer worth the hassle may have also factored into that decision, we suspect.
"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," the microblogging platform explained.
Facebook and Instagram also cracked down on Trump this week, locking his accounts "indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.
And Reddit has banned the DonaldTrump sub-reddit.
Maybe in future we need to work out a way to not hand control over the dangerous and inciting remarks of public figures to companies with huge financial incentives to let them carry on making them.— James Ball (@jamesrbuk) January 8, 2021
Meanwhile Apple has issued an ultimatum to Parler, the social media site beloved by Trumpistas. Cupertino has reportedly given the Parler team 24 hours to clean up its site of calls for violence and rebellion before its app is pulled from Apple's App Store. Given the amount of material on there, the Parler team faces a miserable weekend if it's to hit the deadline. Google has simply kicked Parler out of the Android store.
On Monday, US Representatives Jamie Raskin, Ted Lieu, and David Cicilline are expected to introduce articles of impeachment to remove President Trump from office for inciting the mob that breached the Capitol.
The US House of Representatives took similar action in December 2019. Despite the House's approval of the impeachment charges, the US Senate voted 52 to 48 in favor of acquittal. Sixty-seven Senate votes are required for a conviction.
In 11 days, whether or not this second impeachment attempt succeeds, Trump will no longer be the US President. ®
PS: Trump associates General Flynn and Sidney Powell have also had their Twitter accounts suspended.