With his personal Twitter account permanently shut down on Friday, President Donald Trump tried to circumnavigate the situation by tweeting from the official presidential account ― and then from other accounts, including the official Twitter account for the Trump campaign ― but his plan appears to have gone awry.
Tweets that Trump sent out from the @POTUS account quickly disappeared, indicating Twitter may have deleted them, though the company hasn’t explicitly stated its involvement. His campaign’s Twitter account @TeamTrump was then suspended after it posted the same remarks from the president.
Trump’s comments, posted both to the @POTUS and @TeamTrump accounts, were loaded with conspiracy theories that Twitter, a private company, was colluding with Democrats to censor his speech.
“As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech, and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me,” the outgoing president said.
The @POTUS account is passed on to whoever holds the executive office, but Trump has rarely used it, instead favouring his @realDonaldTrump handle. Twitter permanently shut down that personal account Friday evening after determining it carried a “risk of further incitement of violence.”
Senator Ben Cardin said Twitter “did the right thing. The actions being taken by the social media platforms are appropriate. When someone incites violence you don’t want to be apart of that.”
The social media giant issued a statement Friday noting it has a “ban evasion policy” in place for when users try to circumvent their suspensions.
“For government accounts, such as @POTUS and @WhiteHouse, we will not suspend those accounts but will take action to limit their use,” the company explained.
This policy appears to be the reason behind the suspension of the @TeamTrump account, though Twitter has yet to comment publicly on it.
The Twitter account of Gary Coby, the digital director for Trump’s campaign, was also suspended Friday night after he apparently changed the name on the account to “Donald Trump” and tweeted to Dan Scavino, the White House deputy chief of staff, to give him access to his account.
Trump has long used his personal Twitter account to incite violence, but demands that Twitter take action reached a boiling point this week when hundreds of Trump supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol with firearms and other weapons. The ordeal resulted in the deaths of four rioters and one Capitol Police officer. Amid the chaos, Trump defended the rioters’ behavior and called them “very special.”
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace,” he wrote in one of his final tweets. “Remember this day forever!”
This post has been updated with details about the account suspensions.
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