Twitter has made the decision to permanently suspend US President Donald Trump from the platform following last week’s riots on the US Capitol.
In a statement, Twitter said the decision to permanently suspend the account was “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
Twitter has previously been forced to adjust its rules to accommodate for Trump, adding a warning label to any Tweets made by major political figures that breach the platform’s rules, rather than deleting them.
This decision was made on the basis of public interest and newsworthiness of the posts.
However, Twitter now says Trump’s actions have gone too far.
“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,” Twitter said.
“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.”
Despite being removed from the platform, Trump still responded to the decision via the official presidential account.
“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 – and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me,” he wrote.
“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 promoting FREE SPEECH.”
As well as Twitter permanently removing the President from the platform, both Facebook and Instagram have banned Trump from posting until the end of his presidency.
Calls for new regulation
The move to remove Trump from Twitter has sparked conversation about the power and control of big technology companies.
In Australia, there have been calls for new rules to determine when tech companies liek Twitter can close accounts.
Liberal MP Dave Sharma suggested such decision should be made through a publicly accountable body.
Right decision on the facts.
But deeply uncomfortable w precedent of big tech making decisions about whose speech, and which remarks, are censored and suppressed.
Such decisions should be taken by a publicly accountable body, on basis of transparent reasoning & principles. https://t.co/X6tnFYXCrk
— Dave Sharma (@DaveSharma) January 8, 2021
I’m not proposing some new body. I’m
just making the point that when societies limit free speech we do so through publicly accountable body (usually a legislature & the courts), and on basis of transparent reasoning & principles (usually legislation or common law). https://t.co/UzQrpBhFfI
— Dave Sharma (@DaveSharma) January 10, 2021
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