Twitter Bans Trump
The Associated Press is reporting, at this hour, that Twitter permanently Banned Donald Trump from its platform. While they were at it, they permanently banned a few of his close associates. Here’s the direct story from the AP
Twitter banned President Donald Trump’s account Friday, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence” following the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Twitter has long given Trump and other world leaders broad exemptions from its rules against personal attacks, hate speech, and other behaviors. But in a detailed explanation posted on its blog Friday, the company said recent Trump tweets amounted to the glorification of violence when read in the context of the Capitol riot and plans circulating online for future armed protests around the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
On Friday, Twitter also permanently banned two Trump loyalists — former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell — as part of a broader purge of accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory. Twitter said it will take action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm.
“Given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content,” Twitter said in an emailed statement. The company also said Trump attorney Lin Wood was permanently suspended Tuesday for violating its rules, but provided no additional details.
Social media companies have been under intensified pressure to crack down on hate speech since a violent mob egged on by Trump stormed the Capitol. Dozens of QAnon social media accounts were hyping up Trump’s Jan. 6 rally in the heart of Washington, expressing hope that it could lead to the overturn of the election results.
Some federal lawmakers and several celebrities had also called on Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump.
Other tech companies also acted against Trump’s accounts, citing threats of violence. Snapchat blocked Trump’s account “indefinitely.” Twitch, the live-streaming site owned by Amazon and used by Trump’s campaign to stream speeches, disabled Trump’s account until he leaves office. E-commerce company Shopify shut down two online Trump memorabilia stores.
YouTube announced more general changes that will penalize accounts spreading misinformation about voter fraud in the 2020 election, with repeat offenders facing permanent removal. Reddit on Friday banned a forum for Trump supporters, called “donaldtrump.”