“If you are removed from the platform, you are removed from the platform,” Twitter CFO Ned Segal said, adding that the ban applies “whether you’re a commentator, you’re a CFO, or whether you are a former or current public official.”
Twitter permanently suspended Trump from the platform on Jan. 8, soon after the breach of the Capitol building. The social media website alleged that the former president’s final tweets had incited violence, although no criminal charges have been filed against him.
Currently, the former president is defending himself in the Senate’s impeachment trial, although the upper chamber isn’t likely to convict him. The Senate requires a 67-vote threshold to convict a president.
Days after Trump’s Twitter ban, CEO Jack Dorsey said that the San Francisco-based company’s decision to remove the former president caused division and set a dangerous precedent.
“Having to take these actions fragment [sic] the public conversation. They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation,” Dorsey wrote on Twitter.
In addition to Twitter, Facebook, Google, and several more Big Tech firms suspended Trump around the same time. Meanwhile, “free speech” social media platform Parler was taken down from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store around the same time; days later, Amazon Web Services removed Parler and essentially took the entire site down.
The collective actions against Trump prompted warnings from conservatives, civil liberties groups, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban [Trump] from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning we’d take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter. Was this correct?” Dorsey also wrote on Twitter around the same time Trump’s account was banned.
He added: “I believe this was the right decision for Twitter. We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety. Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.”