“Silencing people, let alone the President of the United States, is happening in China, not our country. #Unbelievable ”tweeted Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.
“The ban on the President of the United States and the inability for @POTUS to communicate with its 88 million followers – AND the 74 million people who voted for him – is the biggest mistake @Jack and the Silicon Valley fascists ever made have made.” wrote Trump’s former assistant assistant, Sebastian Gorka.
Proponents of the president lambasted the move as a violation of free speech and attacked the social media giant for its perceived liberal bias, repeating commonly used conservative speaking points.
Trump’s account was deleted on Friday, two days after a violent mob broke into the Capitol and locked the complex. Trump’s account has been suspended for 12 hours in the face of the attack, but Twitter permanently disabled his account after the president tweeted a message gathering his supporters.
“The 75,000,000 great American patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA BIG AGAIN, will continue to have a HUGE VOTE. You will not be disregarded or treated unfairly in any way, form or form! “Trump tweeted Friday. Twitter quoted the tweet in its statement on the closure of its account.
“We have determined that these tweets violate the policy on the glorification of violence and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately and permanently suspended from service,” wrote Twitter in its statement.
Trump later denounced Moving to a thread on his official White House account claiming Twitter coordinated with the left to suppress free speech. Using the uppercase, lowercase and elliptical signature for his Twitter style, Trump swore, “We will not be silenced!” and told his supporters to “stay tuned!”
Less than 10 minutes later, these tweets were removed.
Twitter also deleted a number of accounts on Friday for advocating QAnon-related content. Among those reports were some of the president’s most vocal supporters, including former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and former Trump attorney Sidney Powell.
One of Trump’s lawyers, Jenna Ellis, tweeted that she lost 10,000 followers Friday, urging her followers to connect with her on Parler, a social media platform popular in right-wing circles that is not convinced by the etiquette of other websites.
Mark Levin, a Trump-friendly radio host, said he had left Twitter in solidarity with users whose accounts had been closed and encouraged his followers to migrate to alternative platforms.
“I suspended my own Twitter account in protest of Twitter’s fascism. I ask all my followers to join me on Parler and Rumble now,” he tweeted.
Apple threatened to launch Parler from its app store on Friday if it doesn’t roll out a better moderation plan. BuzzFeed News reports. According to a Google spokesman on Friday, Google blocked the app from the Play Store because posts that encouraged public violence were not restricted.
Some Democrats and reporters, who had closely watched the president’s personal Twitter account for years to follow the latest political and personal announcements, expressed relief at Trump’s suspension.
Senator Mark Warner, senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, tweeted in response to the message, “An overdue move. However, it is important to remember that this is much larger than a person. It’s about an entire ecosystem in which misinformation and hatred can spread and fester unhindered. “
Trump’s supporters barely hid their frustration.
The President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., compared the move to George Orwell’s “1984”, a common comparison between right-wing circles when they feel their speech is restricted.
“We live Orwell’s 1984. In America there is no longer free speech. It died with great technology and what is left is only there for a select few,” tweeted the younger Trump. “This is absolute madness!”
The younger Trump also pointed out that Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is still allowed on the platform – he keeps multiple accounts in different languages - and said it was hypocritical to allow dictators with dirty human rights records to maintain their presence on the site .
“Mao would be proud,” said Don Jr.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Made a similar point on a Twitter thread Friday night he said he was “more determined than ever” to repeal Section 230, a measure that protects Internet platforms from lawsuits relating to third-party content.
After the initial cleanup of QAnon-related accounts, former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos tweeted: “Echo chambers are unhealthy for a democracy. Suppressing ideas and banning accounts does not take away ideas, it reinforces them and makes it impossible to find common ground. That looks like the plan. “
After Trump’s account was blocked just minutes later, Papadopoulos became followed: “That was fast.”