Where’s he posting? Donald Trump blocked from Twitter and Facebook
It actually happened. After years of “covfefe” gaffes & late-night rants, Donald John Trump’s Twitter privileges got taken away. The tech giant claimed they suspended Trump’s account for twelve hours following his posting of three tweets, including a video that Twitter made unshareable before taking down.
As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy. https://t.co/k6OkjNG3bM
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 7, 2021
The stated reason? Donald Trump’s tweets were posted during an incursion that took place in the Capitol Building yesterday, where Trump supporters got through a barricade, stormed the Capitol Building, and interrupted the U.S. Senate’s vote to confirm the election. The stated reason for their initial protest was concerns about alleged widespread voter fraud, claims which Trump has tweeted several times before.
The building was put on lockdown, multiple U.S. representatives reported being evacuated, and agitators were photographed stealing & destroying property. Officials also reported finding a bomb on the premises. A woman was also fatally shot and many more were hospitalized.
Now, Twitter & Facebook have decided to ban Donald Trump’s Twitter account. Snap & YouTube have also said they’re throwing more restrictions on Trump’s accounts. Although some are breathing a collective sigh of relief that they don’t have to hear about Trump’s tweets in the media every day, others are decrying the decision as internet censorship. Meanwhile, we’re sitting here wondering: why now? Let’s take a look.
Brief history of Donald Trump’s Twitter
Donald Trump’s Twitter has hardly been without controversy. In the early 2010s, Trump began vocally declaring support for the “birther” conspiracy (allegations that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and therefore ineligible to be president) and began vocalizing his objections to U.S. foreign policy around China & Iran.
Before that, Trump mainly plugged his TV appearances & The Apprentice airings. However, Donald Trump soon became known for vocalizing his political opinions on everything: China, immigration, national security, you name it. He gave monikers to pundits & political figures he didn’t like such as “Lyin’ Ted (Cruz)” or “Crooked Hilary (Clinton)”.
Some pundits credited Donald Trump’s brash tweets with helping him get to the White House. Whether they did or not, Trump’s Twitter account kept him in the spotlight throughout his presidency, as what Donald Trump said on Twitter was a frequent news headline for the last four years.
As soon as The Associated Press called the U.S. election for Joe Biden, Donald Trump has been tweeting that the election was stolen from him. Indeed, Trump’s legal team initiated several lawsuits, many in key swing states, alleging widespread voter fraud. Many of said cases have been dismissed in court.
Also, despite Donald Trump’s claims, which were also made in other independent lawsuits and elsewhere on Twitter, the Electoral College voted in accordance with official vote tallies and the U.S. Senate confirmed the vote earlier on Thursday. It’s unknown whether Donald Trump will bring future challenges to the election results at this time.
Furthermore, Twitter placed a disclaimer on many of Donald Trump’s tweets about the election in big blue, you-can’t-miss-em letters.
States want to correct their votes, which they now know were based on irregularities and fraud, plus corrupt process never received legislative approval. All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States, AND WE WIN. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
“This claim about election fraud is disputed”
When you click on Twitter’s link, in big, bold letters, Twitter has this headline: “There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 US presidential election, government officials and election experts confirm.” Twitter further cited The Associated Press & Reuters, saying “voter fraud of any type is incredibly rare in the U.S.”.
In a bulleted list, Twitter also said: “The Department of Justice found no evidence of voter fraud that could have changed the outcome of the election, according to former AG William Barr.” Also, “Election officials at the Department of Homeland Security said, ‘the November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.’”
Further below, Twitter posted tweets with articles from ABC News, NBC News, and USA Today which claimed Donald Trump’s statements on Twitter were false.
Twitter’s official reason for banning Donald Trump: they claimed three of his tweets violated their civic integrity rule, which states: “You may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes. This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress participation or mislead people about when, where, or how to participate in a civic process.”
The New York Times called Twitter’s “rebuke” of Donald Trump, and later Facebook’s, “unprecedented”. Rather than banning his account for twelve hours, Facebook went a step further. Mark Zuckerberg declared he would block Trump from all of his platforms until Inauguration Day.
According to Business Insider, Donald Trump took down the tweets which got his account banned from Twitter. Twitter said the ban would continue if Trump didn’t remove the tweets in question. As of this writing, he hasn’t tweeted since.
So where is Donald Trump posting?
Could Donald Trump be on Parler, the social media account where many of his sympathizers went after Twitter & Facebook began putting disclaimers on his posts? Apparently, Newsweek found a Parler account claiming to be from Donald Trump. Said account was asking for donations for his 2024 campaign.
In addition to asking Parler users for their username & email, the post also asked “are you opt-in for supporting with a $20 Donation for the president’s 2024 bid and a News Network?” While allegations have circulated about Donald Trump wanting to start his own news network, it’s the internet. The post could be from anyone.