Update (2100ET): At 8:29pm ET, Trump - having been suspended from his personal twitter account - decided to use the official twitter account of the US president, @POTUS, saying that "Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my accounts from their platform to silence me - and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me." Trump then said that "Twitter may be a private company, but without the government's gift of Section 230 they would not exist for long."
Trump, who has yet to create his own Parler account, continued: "We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future."
"We will not be SILENCED! Twitter is not about FREE SPEECH. They are all about promoting a Radical Left platform where some of the most vicious people in the world are allowed to speak freely" the president boomed.
He concluded with an all caps "STAY TUNED!"
Just moments later, twitter deleted all of the above tweets from the @POTUS account. The last remaining tweet on that account which at 33.4 million has a little over a third of Trump's original 88 million followers, is from December 23.
The deletion was followed by a tweet from none other than Trump's nemesis, Hillary Clinton, who gloated that Trump's account has indeed been deleted as she urged him to do just before she lost the 2016 election to him.
Shortly after, Trump also tweeted using his campaign, @TeamTrump account. Literally 10 seconds later the account was suspended.
10 seconds apart pic.twitter.com/NHyPOOz5wn— 𝑅𝑢𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑙 𝑇ℎ𝑜𝑚𝑎𝑠 (@MrMeritology) January 9, 2021
The deletion was confirmed by the TeamTrump social media director:
Can confirm @TeamTrump has been suspended for doing absolutely nothing wrong.— Mike Hahn (@mikehahn_) January 9, 2021
According to VOA reporter Steve Herman, a twitter spokesperson said that "As we've said, using another account to try to evade a suspension is against our rules. We've permanently suspended the @TeamTrump account."
There was more: just before 10pm, Trump campaign digital director Gary Coby tweeted Dan Scavino to use his account for Trump... and was suspended moments later:
Trump's son, Donald Jr., - whose twitter account has surprisingly not been banned yet - tweeted "Free Speech Is Under Attack! Censorship is happening like NEVER before! Don’t let them silence us. Sign up at DONJR.COM to stay connected!"
Free Speech Is Under Attack! Censorship is happening like NEVER before! Don’t let them silence us. Sign up at https://t.co/835Eak6Ghi to stay connected!— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 9, 2021
If I get thrown off my social platforms I’ll let you know my thoughts and where I end up. pic.twitter.com/bO7wbfWWVr
The night is not over yet, and as the great purge continues, nobody knows how many more voices will be silenced.
And while we wait, it appears that America's most popular talk show host in history, terminal cancer patient and close friend of Donald Trump, did what so many others will do in the coming days, and nuked his own account.
Twitter SPOX: "I would like to correct that He is not suspended. The user deactivated their account."— Joseph A. Wulfsohn (@JosephWulfsohn) January 9, 2021
Deleted previous tweet. pic.twitter.com/30agl2Aqbl
* * *
Update (2000ET): As the purge accelerates, color us not so completely stunned that Google has just suspended Parler from its Play Store:
"In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence.
All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months.
We're aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.
We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content.
In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat we are suspending the app's listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues."
- José Castañeda, a Google spokesperson.
President Trump's son, Don Jr, summed things up quite succinctly:
We are living Orwell’s 1984. Free-speech no longer exists in America. It died with big tech and what’s left is only there for a chosen few.
This is absolute insanity!
So the ayatollah, and numerous other dictatorial regimes can have Twitter accounts with no issue despite threatening genocide to entire countries and killing homosexuals etc... but The President of the United States should be permanently suspended.
Mao would be proud.
"Red Wedding" anyone?
* * *
Update (1830ET): With a post published on its blog, accompanied by a tweet from Twitter's "Twitter Safety" account, the social media company has officially caved to pressure from a growing chorus of leftists, and agreed to permanently ban President Trump from twitter.
It's the capstone of a long day of growing censorship of Trump and conservative voices across the web, from Shopify to Apple (which as we noted below is trying to shadowban Parler).
Here's Twitter's statement:
Permanent suspension of @realDonaldTrump
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.
The below is a comprehensive analysis of our policy enforcement approach in this case.
On January 8, 2021, President Donald J. Trump 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!!!”
Shortly thereafter, the President tweeted:
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
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. 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.
We assessed the two Tweets referenced above under our Glorification of Violence policy, which aims to prevent the glorification of violence that could inspire others to replicate violent acts and determined that they were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
This determination is based on a number of factors, including:
- President Trump’s statement that he will not be attending the Inauguration is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate and is seen as him disavowing his previous claim made via two Tweets (1, 2) by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Dan Scavino, that there would be an “orderly transition” on January 20th.
- The second Tweet may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a “safe” target, as he will not be attending.
- The use of the words “American Patriots” to describe some of his supporters is also being interpreted as support for those committing violent acts at the US Capitol.
- The mention of his supporters having a “GIANT VOICE long into the future” and that “They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” is being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an “orderly transition” and instead that he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election.
- Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.
As such, our determination is that the two Tweets above are likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so.
Twitter shares dropped in after-hours trading on the news.
Trump Campaign Adviser Stephen Miller tweeted immediately after (and we suspect will not be long before he is also suspended indefinitely) that "Big Tech wants to cancel; all Trump supporters."
* * *
Update (1705ET): Big tech is on a cancel crusade today - with Twitter suspending General Michael Flynn, attorney Sidney Powell and various other pro-Trump accounts (see below).
Meanwhile, Apple is set to remove Twitter competitor Parler from its app store unless they enact a series of draconian crackdowns on free speech.
BREAKING: Apple is currently threatening to ban Parler -- the free speech alternative to Twitter -- unless the service enacts draconian censorship policies demanded by left-wing Big Tech oligarchs, according to two sources familiar with Apple's threats.— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 8, 2021
Apple has given Parler, the social network favored by conservatives and extremists, an ultimatum to implement a full moderation plan of its platform within the next 24 hours or face expulsion from the App store.
In an email sent this morning and obtained by BuzzFeed News, Apple wrote to Parler’s executives that there had been complaints that the service had been used to plan and coordinate the storming of the US Capitol by President Donald Trump’s supporters on Wednesday. The insurrection left five people dead, including a police officer.
"We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property,” Apple wrote to Parler. “The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.”
Apple said that “to ensure there is no interruption of the availability of your app on the App Store,” Parler was required to submit an update and a “requested moderation improvement plan within 24 hours of the date of the message,” which was sent on Friday morning. Apple said if it did not receive an update from the company within that time frame, the app would be removed from the App store.
An Apple spokesperson declined to comment.
Ben Garrison, the guy who does the Ripped Trump political cartoons, got got pic.twitter.com/eyjJmvdpE2— Zack Budryk (@BudrykZack) January 8, 2021
Tracy Beanz has been suspended. pic.twitter.com/PCDP9afahx— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) January 8, 2021
Now, the Washington Post reports that hundreds of Twitter employees demanded in a Friday letter that the company permanently suspend President Trump's account over Wednesday's 'storming' of the US Capitol, after police simply let protesters into the building.
Capitol police open doors for the protestors. They stand aside and invite them inside. pic.twitter.com/OnSd3KGzz5— Christina Bobb (@christina_bobb) January 8, 2021
"In an internal letter addressed to chief executive Jack Dorsey and his top executives viewed by The Washington Post, roughly 350 Twitter employees asked for a clear account of the company's decision-making process regarding the President's tweets the day that a pro-Trump mob breached the U.S. Capitol. Employees also requested an investigation into the past several years of corporate actions that led to Twitter's role in the insurrection," writes the Post.
"Despite our efforts to serve the public conversation, as Trump's megaphone, we helped fuel the deadly events of January 6th," reads the letter. "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."
* * *
Update (1625ET): Twitter has suspended both General Michael Flynn, President Trump's first National Security Adviser, and attorney Sidney Powell, as part of a crackdown on accounts engaging in 'harmful activity.'
Twitter bans accounts of retired L.T. Gen. Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell. pic.twitter.com/iq6Grr2O7X— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) January 8, 2021
Well this aged well. Twitter just banned Sydney Powell, General Flynn and a host of high follower trump accounts. The purge is beginning. Ends well for all I am sure. https://t.co/nUnmUwZviO— Ed ☯️ (@DowdEdward) January 8, 2021
Check back for updates...
* * *
Cancel culture is back with a vengeance, after Reddit banned yet another pro-Trump forum, /r/DonaldTrump, from the public square in yet another example of leftist technocrats using outlier groups of extremists - in this case, the Capitol 'raid' - to justify their actions, while having given their own side a pass during four years of violence and incendiary rhetoric.
"Reddit's site-wide policies prohibit content that promotes hate, or encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence against groups of people or individuals. In accordance with this, we have been proactively reaching out to moderators to remind them of our policies and to offer support or resources as needed," a Reddit spokesperson told an undoubtedly giddy Axios, who added "We have also taken action to ban the community r/donaldtrump given repeated policy violations in recent days regarding the violence at the U.S. Capitol."
In June, Reddit banned /r/The_Donald - one of the site's largest political communities, right as the 2020 election began to heat up.
The company's Friday ban-hammer comes on the heels of several other platforms taking actions against Trump or his supporters. As Axios notes:
- Twitch and Snapchat disabled Trump's accounts.
- Shopify took down two online stores affiliated with the president.
- Facebook and Instagram banned Trump from posting for at least the next two weeks, and faced calls to boot him permanently, including from former First Lady Michelle Obama and high-ranking Hill Democrats.
- Twitter froze Trump out of his account Wednesday before reinstating him Thursday once he deleted problematic tweets.
- YouTube says it's accelerating its enforcement of voter fraud claims against President Trump and others based on Wednesday's events.
- TikTok is removing content violations and redirecting hashtags like #stormthecapitol and #patriotparty to its community guidelines.
Meanwhile, Facebook has removed the 'Walk Away' campaign from its platform and has banned founder Brandon Straka and his team - which had over 500,000 people who shared their testimonial videos about leaving the Democratic party.
It’s over for pro-Trump movements on the Internet. The purge is on. https://t.co/DQ6LfU1Fkn— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) January 8, 2021
And in what's got to be the icing on the cancel cake, Lehigh University just revoked a 33-year-old honorary degree given to President Trump in 1988, after the school's board of trustees voted to do so on Thursday following the violence in the Capitol.
It seems like these institutions were just waiting for the right excuse...