Tonight, Donald Trump was finally silenced.
For a few minutes, at least.
Despite having used his Twitter account to incite violence among his supporters, spread dangerous misinformation about the coronavirus, promote racist white supremacist conspiracy theories, and paint targets on sitting members of Congress dozens of times throughout the past four years, the Twitter corporation decided that twelve days before Trump leaves office was the appropriate time to permanently suspend the infamous @realdonaldtrump account and its 87 million followers.
The breaking point, it seems, was Trump’s refusal to tell the Capitol insurrectionists to go home and his subsequent use of the account to further egg them on, thus violating the “Glorification of Violence” policy that Twitter has refused to enforce dozens of times throughout the past four years, including the time Trump infamously tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” during the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this summer.
The world immediately began speculating how Trump, who has been nursing a terminal case of Compulsively Online since long before he was President, would deal with the sudden loss of his dopamine machine. His loyal chudlings immediately flocked to Nazi-friendly social media platforms Parler and Gab, immediately crashing the sites and rendering them unusable by anyone.
But Trump couldn’t bear to be without the top-shelf posts for too long and tried to switch to the @POTUS account to evade his ban. His first priority, of course, was to complain about how unfair it is that he had been banned and hinted at starting his own social media platform to avoid the tyranny of the tech censors who didn’t even slap his wrist after he promoted anti-immigrant conspiracy theories that were linked to the Tree of Life synagogue massacre.
#BREAKING: TRUMP DEFIES TWITTER BAN BY POSTING FROM OFFICIAL PRESIDENT'S ACCOUNT
— 10 News First (@10NewsFirst) January 9, 2021
But Twitter, surely having anticipated this, deleted the tweets almost immediately and has reportedly silenced the @POTUS account as well.
It looks like trump tried to tweet from @POTUS account about how he wants to start his own platform and how Twitter is "not about FREE SPEECH" but that those tweets were removed pretty quickly. Twitter has said it will not let Trump circumvent the ban via other accounts. pic.twitter.com/GNzd95buIE
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 9, 2021
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) January 9, 2021
One can only imagine the scene in the Oval Office right now. We must be reaching unprecedented levels of fury from a man who surely has just god-awful blood pressure as it is. While it will be very amusing to see Trump try to start his own social media platform (Trumpr?), the fact of the matter is this is nothing but a performative attempt from Twitter to try and buy favor with the incoming Democratic administration and perhaps avoid some of the regulation that they so desperately deserve.
He should have been banned the first time he told Ilhan Omar to “go back to where she came from” — but better late than never, we suppose.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.