President Donald Trump’s social media accounts have been banned. After the events on Wednesday, Jan. 6 unfolded, many Americans were in shock due to what happened at the capitol. While the election of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States was being certified, a pro-Trump mob gathered outside of the capitol building for a “Save America” rally. This rally quickly turned violent and rioters breached the capitol building, which forced lawmakers to go into a lockdown.
Many people pushed for Trump to send out a message to his supporters, who were vandalizing and trespassing into the federal building, and tell them to leave the building immediately. Instead, he repeated his idea that the election was “stolen” and that he supported his protesters. This tweet was removed and was not the only thing of Trump’s that was removed during this sequence of events. His social media accounts were also taken down, sparking outrage from his supporters.
On Jan. 8, Twitter issued a statement, which said that President Trump’s account, @realDonaldTrump, had been permanently suspended. “In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open.” Twitter added to this point by saying that Twitter is not a platform that can be used to incite violence, which they believe President Trump did.
Not only was President Trump banned from Twitter, but he was also banned from Facebook, Twitch, Shopify, Reddit, Google, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, as well as lesser-known platforms due to his incitement of violence.
Despite these platforms being private companies and the terms of service stating the app’s rules, supporters of President Trump are upset about his ban. Some supporters are going as far as to say that Twitter is limiting the President’s freedom of speech.
With many Trump supporters moving off of Twitter because their President was removed, a lot of them have moved to an app called “Parler.” This app is similar to Twitter, but its main message is “speak freely and express yourself openly without fear of being ‘deplatformed’ for your views.”
While this app has been used before by conservatives, there has been a spike in users after President Trump was banned from social media, making it the second most downloaded free app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store at the time. The app has been a host for radicals and conspiracy theories. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) stated that “Holocaust denial, antisemitism, racism and other forms of bigotry are also easy to find,” referring to the Parler app.
After all of the new users joined the app, it has been removed from Apple, Google, and Amazon. Parler had broken the terms of service of Amazon Web Services because the app was being used as a platform to spread misinformation and conspiracies. The ADL says that groups such as the Proud Boys, InfoWars, and QAnon were among the accounts with the highest following. QAnon, InfoWars, and the Proud Boys are all organizations that promote conspiracies such as the election being stolen.