After 10 years of reckless broadcasting, Donald Trump's favorite app has finally had enough with his antics. Following the events in the US Capitol, Twitter has permanently banned the President from using the platform. But is it too little, too late?
Twitter's decision followed two tweets by Trump Friday afternoon that would end up being his last. The tweets violated the company's policy against the glorification of violence.
In one tweet, Trump controversially thanked his supporters – just a day after a mob of them stormed the Capitol. "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!!!"
Following the Twitter ban on Friday, for a brief moment, Trump managed to tweet anyhow — not from @realDonaldTrump, his suspended account, but rather the official @POTUS account reserved for the current President of the United States, one that will be handed over to Joe Biden on January 20. He was swiftly blocked from those as well.
We've all witnessed his 280-character fits with haphazard capital letters and punctuations. However, after a decade of hate speech and bypassing the media to speak directly to his supporters, this week's violence proves Twitter should have had enough a long time ago.
This week's deadly storm on the US Capitol by white supremacists – which was instigated by Trump – resulted in Twitter finally suspending him from the platform. The company said the decision was made "after close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account" and "due to the risk of further incitement of violence" – but lawmakers and celebrities have been calling for this for years.
Following Wednesday's deadly violence, former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted on Thursday that social media companies should permanently expel Trump. She also called on Silicon Valley specifically to address its role in the violent insurrection attempt. “Now is the time for companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior — and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technology from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection,” she wrote.
Trump's camp has always pulled the "free speech" card when faced with backlash over his problematic language. Yet, free speech can only go so far until it infringes on the freedoms of others and Trump's Twitter sprees have pushed that boundary countless times. Twitter has, so to speak, become his primary way of getting his message out. And when that message is so hateful and inciteful it begs to ask, couldn't this ban have happened sooner?
The silver lining is that Twitter might have set the precedent for other platforms to do the same. 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.