Tech giants ban Donald Trump for life


Anita Mathur

It was a huge shock to Trump supporters after the outgoing US president was permanently banned from one of the tech giants – Twitter “due to risk of further incitement of violence”.

Twitter said the decision was made “after close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account”.

It comes amid a Big Tech purge of the online platforms used by Donald Trump and his supporters.

Here is Twitter’s announcement on the decision:

“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.”

Some lawmakers and celebrities have been calling for years on Twitter to ban Trump altogether.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted on Thursday that the Silicon Valley giants should stop enabling Trump’s “monstrous behavior” and permanently expel him.

Donald Trump was locked out of his account for 12 hours on Wednesday after he called the people who stormed the US Capitol “patriots”.

Hundreds of his supporters entered the complex as the US Congress attempted to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. The ensuing violence led to the deaths of four civilians and a police officer.

Twitter warned then that it would ban Trump “permanently” if he breached the platform’s rules again.

After being allowed back on Twitter, Trump posted two tweets on Friday that the company cited as the final straws.

Other tech firms also taking steps

Earlier on Friday, Twitter permanently banned the account of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and two Trump loyalists: former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell.

Later in the day, Google suspended Parler – a self-styled “free speech” rival to Twitter that is increasingly popular with Trump supporters – from its online store.

“We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US,” said Google.

On Thursday, Facebook said it had suspended Trump “indefinitely”. The popular gaming platform Twitch also placed an indefinite ban on the outgoing president’s channel, which he has used for rally broadcasts. So has Snapchat.

Two online Trump memorabilia stores were closed this week by e-commerce company Shopify. On Friday, Reddit banned its “donaldtrump” forum for the president’s supporters.

According to analysts, Donald Trump used Twitter to insult adversaries, cheer allies, fire officials, deny “fake news” and vent grievances, often using all capital letters and exclamation marks to underline his point.

The Department of Justice said in 2017 that Trump’s tweets were “official statements of the President of the United States”.

The big question now is, can Trumpism survive without the backing of mainstream media? Or will it simply slip into the shadows of the internet?

In fact, internet should not be used for any ulterior motive. Donald Trump has definitely violated norms by using social media platforms in in spreading hatred as well as abusing various individuals and nations.

From the instances of actions taken against President Donald Trump, everyone in the world – especially those sitting in cozy chairs in power should note – anytime their privilege of using Google as well as other tech giant facilities would be snapped – if they are found in misusing such platforms.


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