Trump's Ban is Permanent: Twitter CFO

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The chief financial officer (CFO) of Twitter, Ned Segal said that even if Donald Trump runs for office again, he will still be banned on the social media networking app.
  • While stating this, Segal explained the policies of Twitter which assert that once someone is removed from the platform, then they cannot come back to it regardless of what position they hold. He also explained that the policies are designed in a way that will ensure that people do not incite violence.
  • This step by Twitter is out of the ordinary and before going through with it, the network had blocked the former President temporarily too. This was done on the grounds that his tweets were contributing to an increased risk of violence.
  • Trump has been accused of causing violence at the US Capitol by aggravating his supporters.
  • Jack Dorsey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Twitter also said this was the right step, but expressed concern over the step which was uncommon.

INTRODUCTION

The news that the ban is permanent came in the middle of Trump’s impeachment trial which is taking place in the Senate.

The trial is happening on the ground that the former President of the United States of America had provoked a rebellion with his rousing exhortations at a rally in Washington immediately before the breach of the US Capitol by a brutal mob on January 6th.

Trump was impeached last year too and tweeted critical and carping statements throughout, although he refused to appear at the trial in his own defense both times. He was seen playing golf during the time of the trial.

If he is acquitted at his impeachment trial then he will be free to run for the office again, but he will still be banned on Twitter. On the other hand, if he gets convicted at the trial he will be barred from holding federal office again.

Facebook has also decided to prohibit Donald Trump from posting for an indefinite period and has asked its superior board whether the former president shall remain banned or not. Even YouTube has banned Trump’s video channel.

FURTHER DETAILS

President Donald Trump’s supporters caused turmoil in the nation’s capital on 6th January. Even though this chaos was planned, when the mob entered into the US Capitol with lead pipes, explosives, and chemical irritants the law enforcement was caught off guard.

John Sandweg, a former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and former general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security said that even though the Capitol police deals with crowds and protesters mostly all the time, this time they failed to do so.

Even though the mob was angry, the violence was aggravated by the tweets and of Donald Trump. Security footage of the angry mob is being used to impeach the former president. In that video supporters of Trump are seen creating chaos in the US Capitol and threatening to cause injuries to leaders.

Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat and one of the impeachment managers said that the chaos was deliberate and occurred while the votes were being counted.

The reason why Donald Trump is being blamed for the violence in the Capitol is his relentless efforts to change the outcome of the presidential election. It has been argued that this attack was not random and was assembled by Trump over the course of several months.

The law enforcement of the Capitol has also been criticized as their approach to the mob was discriminatory. It has also been stated the police lacked preparation and reinforcements.

TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT

This is the first time in US history that a president is charged with misconduct twice by the lower chamber of Congress. Trump is on trial after he has left the office.

It has been alleged that not only did he made false claims of election fraud but also encouraged his supporters to cause a chaos in the Capitol. If two-thirds majority of the 100-member senate claim that he is guilty and convict him, then he will be barred from holding a public office.

Earlier, he was impeached because it was alleged that he had used his military aid to open an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

CONCLUSION

Twitter was Trump’s foremost mode of communication, and his absence on it has affected his ability to convey false information about the results of the election and remain an active participant in dialogues around Joe Biden’s presidency.

It was assumed that the social network will face a loss of users as a result of its step. But Twitter has reported that it has continued to gain new users even after banning Trump.

It is the only platform to make the ban permanent as of now. If we summarize the aforementioned facts, it will not be wrong to conclude that even though everyone has a right to freedom of speech and expression, they do not have a right to use that freedom in an unreasonable manner.

Apart from this, it is also important to ensure that the law is enforced with care to prevent violence by the mobs. Even though protests maintain the spirit of democracy in a country, violent protests can harm the public.

Making or tweeting statements that incite violence (or sedition) is against Democracy, and therefore the step by Twitter is reasonable. 

 

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Mansi Aggarwal 
on 23 February 2021
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