Twitter Permanently Suspends Trump. Twitter announced Friday it had decided to permanently suspend President Donald Trump‘s personal account, @realDonaldTrump, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” a post from Twitter Safety read.
The post continues: “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 and cannot use Twitter to incite violence. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement,” it concludes.
The company cited two of the president’s tweets from Friday as the reason for the permanent suspension: one in which he announced he would not be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20 and a second where he praised his supporters as “great American Patriots” who will not be “disrespected or treated unfairly,” just days after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, leaving five people dead.
“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,” the company said.
The move comes after hundreds of Twitter employees demanded in a letter this week that the platform permanently suspend the president’s account because of his posts about the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
“Despite our efforts to serve the public conversation, as Trump’s megaphone, we helped fuel the deadly events of January 6th,” roughly 350 Twitter employees wrote in a letter to the company’s top executives, according to the Washington Post.
“We request an investigation into how our public policy decisions led to the amplification of serious anti-democratic threats. We must learn from our mistakes in order to avoid causing future harm,” they added.
Ahead of the permanent suspension, Twitter had locked the president out of his account for the first time this week, requiring that he delete tweets he posted about the chaos at the Capitol before waiting 12 hours to regain access. The platform then warned the president it would suspend him if he continued to break its rules. Twitter Permanently Suspends Trump
Peter Costanzo, then an online marketing director for the publishing company putting out Trump’s book, “Think Like a Champion,” helped bring Trump to the platform.
Twitter was still in its infancy at the time. But Costanzo, who later came to work for The Associated Press, saw the then-140-character-per-message platform as a new tool that the real estate mogul could use to boost sales and reach a broader audience.
Costanzo was given seven minutes to make his pitch to Trump – “Not five minutes, not 10,” he recalled in a 2016 interview.
Trump liked what he heard.
“I said, `Let’s call you @realDonaldTrump – you’re the real Donald Trump,”’ recalled Costanzo. “He thought about it for a minute and said: `I like it. Let’s do it.”’
Other than Trump’s family, no one seemed off limits from his Twitter wrath. Trump attacked Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, 2016 political rivals, current administration staffers, former administration staffers, the Republican Party and cable networks.
@realDonaldTrump was prolific: On days when its owner was particularly agitated, such as in the midst of impeachment proceedings, it pushed out more than 100 tweets.
In its most popular tweet, on Oct. 2, 2020, @realDonaldTrump announced that Trump and first lady Melania Trump had contracted the coronavirus. The post got 1.8 million likes and nearly 400,000 retweets, according to Factba.se., which tracks the president’s social media habits and commentary.
The account was used to announce firings. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson learned of his ouster in a tweet.
The account threatened adversaries in the most colorful terms. Before Trump “fell in love” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un through secretly exchanged letters, Trump used Twitter to dub him “rocket man” and vowed to respond with “fire and fury” if the authoritarian dared attack the United States.
@realDonaldTrump frequently spread misleading, false and malicious assertions, such as the baseless ideas that protesters at Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings were paid by the liberal philanthropist George Soros and that November’s election was beset by voter fraud.
Trump often tweeted well past midnight and before dawn, a cathartic outlet for grievances (Witch hunt! Crooked Hillary, Russia, Russia, Russia, FAKE NEWS, and so on.) For the most part, @realDonaldTrump and its 280-character posts effectively allowed Trump to work around the Washington media establishment and amplify the message of allies.
Sometimes @realDonaldTrump stumbled. Trump deleted 1,166 tweets and, in his final months on the platform, had 471 tweets flagged by Twitter for misinformation, according to Factba.se.
In one of his most memorable Twitter stumbles, Trump in May 2017 sent (and later deleted) a cryptic post-midnight tweet that read “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”
The gibberish set the Twitterverse afire with speculation. Theories included that the tweeter-in-chief had fallen asleep mid-message and that the man who once bragged of having “the best words” was adding a new word to the lexicon to properly describe collusion between Democrats and the press.
The mystery was never solved.
Sam Nunberg, a longtime former Trump adviser, said that in the summer of 2011, after Trump announced he wasn’t running in 2012 but wanted to remain relevant, his team decided to start using social media to boost his profile.
They chose to focus on Twitter, where he already had an account and several hundred thousand followers. Nunberg remembers sending Trump daily reports on his follower growth. Trump would sometimes hand it back with hand-written notes – “Why not more?” “Why so slow?”
They celebrated when they hit the million mark.
“Twitter definitely played a pivotal role in building Donald Trump as a political figure within Republican politics and he also greatly enjoyed it,” said Nunberg. “Remember he used to say: `I wanted to own a newspaper. This is great, it’s like a newspaper without the losses.”’
Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., took to Twitter shortly after the platform banned @realDonaldTrump to note that it continues to allow Iran’s supreme leader “and numerous other dictatorial regimes” to use the platform, but cannot abide his father.
“Mao would be proud,” Trump Jr. scoffed.
In the end, @realDonaldTrump offered an in-the-moment peek into Trump’s state of mind over more than a decade, a period in which the “Apprentice” TV star transformed into the 45th American president.
Down the road, when historians look for a glimpse into Trump thoughts on the issues of his time — anything from actress Kristen Stewart’s treatment of co-star Robert Pattinson to the president’s views on Russian meddling in the 2016 election – the first stop may inevitably be one of the many digital archives that have preserved the tweets of @realDonaldTrump.
With Trump, whatever the topic, there’s always a tweet for that.