Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s account Jan. 8, causing many conservatives and centrists to cry about “free speech.” This followed the incident at the United States Capitol, in which angry Trump supporters stormed the building and caused members of Congress to go into lockdown while they were in the process of confirming the electoral votes. This happened in response to Trump pushing a conspiracy theory about the election being “stolen.”
For the past few months, Twitter started putting fact-checks on Trump’s tweets. Specifically, the tweets about the election being stolen. The false claims of a stolen election led to the riot at the Capitol, where instead of condemning the actions of his supporters, Trump continued to push his stolen election conspiracy while also telling the terrorists he loved them and they were special people.
Twitter banning Trump was not a violation of free speech or some horrific act of censorship. Trump’s tweets incited violence, which is not protected under the First Amendment, and is also a violation of Twitter’s terms of service.
In a company blog post, Twitter said, “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
Twitter’s choice may have come too late, as the Capitol storming had already happened, and Trump supporters continue to find community on platforms such as Parler. Facebook and Instagram also banned Trump’s accounts, or as the kids say, Trump got Zucc’d.
For the same reason you cannot yell, “Fire!” in a crowded movie theatre, Donald Trump cannot get on social media and push dangerous conspiracy theories that have now caused actual harm.