It happened. Twitter shut down @realDonaldTrump for good

Twitter permanently suspended the @realDonaldTrump account. What comes next?


January 11, 2021

One of the most enduring features of William Shakespeare’s work is his mastery of “tragicomedy.”

Plays like “The Merchant of Venice” and “Romeo and Juliet” blend elements of tragedy and comedy to create unforgettable narratives.

President Donald Trump’s 72 hours, from Wednesday through Friday — starting with the deadly storming of the US Capitol to a meme-filled suspension of his Twitter account — could have been written by the Bard of Avon.

@realDonaldTrump was suspended for an ‘incitement of violence’…

… according to Twitter’s official blog post. After the tragic Wednesday events (which resulted in 5 dead), Trump followed up with tweets that initially suggested he would not endorse an orderly transition of power.

Trump’s final tweet on Friday noted that he would not attend the January 20 inauguration, which Twitter interpreted as a green light to attack the event.

The suspension of Twitter’s 6th most-followed account (~89m) was urged on by 100s of company employees, who signed a petition directed at CEO Jack Dorsey.

The post-suspension memes came immediately, with one parody account — @baronjohn1946, alluding to Trump alias “John Barron” — notching nearly 2m likes on its first tweet.

For years, Twitter has deemed Trump’s account ‘newsworthy’

This is the reason his most inflammatory tweets did not lead to a suspension, according to tech writer Casey Newton.

Per Newton, @realDonaldTrump went live in 2009 as a promotional tool but soon became a megaphone for media attacks.

Most (in)famously, Trump used Twitter to spread conspiracy theories on President Barack Obama. The vitriol earned him an audience and launched his political career.

After the suspension, Trump tried to tweet through other accounts

But Twitter blocked them all, including the official presidential account, @POTUS.

The rest of tech has also dropped the hammer, with Trump blocked or suspended from Snapchat, Facebook/Instagram, Shopify/Paypal, Discord, Twitch, YouTube, Reddit, TikTok, and other sites.

One alternative platform, Parler (AKA conservative Twitter) was taken offline by Amazon Web Services (and blocked from Android phones and iPhones) for failure to moderate its increasingly violent content.

For Big Tech — which yanked the president of the United States off the internet virtually overnight — this famous Shakespeare line from “Henry IV, Part 2” comes to mind: “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.”

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