Over the weekend, the hashtag #DeactivateTrump started trending on Twitter as people called for the banning of Donald Trump from the social media platform.
The calls for Trump’s removal come after the president has been pushing false conspiracy theories about the election on Twitter.
One key difference will be that Trump will lose his designation as a “world leader” — established in 2019 because of Trump’s virtual American carnage — and, The Verge reports, “Twitter confirmed that Trump’s @realDonaldTrump account will be subject to the same rules as any other user — including bans on inciting violence and posting false information about voting or the coronavirus pandemic.”
Once Trump is out of office, he will no longer have the privilege of being exempt from spreading falsehoods or inciting violence on Twitter.
The Atlantic laid that out November 12 under this headline:
“Twitter’s Next Trump Problem: Trump is exempt from many of Twitter’s policies because of his status as a world leader. Come January, he could lose his favorite toy and most powerful weapon.”
The magazine found experts leaning toward the view that Trump’s days on the platform might be numbered. Here’s what it reported:
“Brian L. Ott, a communication professor at Missouri State University and a co-author of The Twitter Presidency, agreed that, were Trump to get banned, it would probably be for incitement to violence. “I don’t think there’s any question about that,” he said. “He has demonstrated a willingness again and again to legitimate and stoke political violence.” He will do it again, Ott said, and he will eventually get booted from his favorite website. It’s only a matter of time.
Staff writer Kaitlyn Tiffany drew this conclusion:
“We’ve had four years to see what the effects of not banning him are. If Trump is allowed to stay on Twitter, his power over the discourse will not fade away after he leaves office. He has gained more than 60 million followers throughout this presidency and losing reelection has not cost him one iota of social-media stardom; he’s gained another 1.5 million followers since Election Day. There’s no reason to think he won’t use this enormous audience to continue endangering people’s lives with falsehoods—a recent study found that Trump and 20 of his high-profile supporters were the source of 20 percent of retweets of election misinformation, and another found that Trump himself was “the largest driver” of coronavirus misinformation.”
Whatever happens with the personal account, it’s so small detail that Trump will be surrendering the official presidential Twitter account with 32.7 million followers to President-elect Joe Biden. As Bloomberg Businessweek reported, that doesn’t affect his personal account, which has mushroomed to 88.9 million followers, but it’s not nothing.
“While Trump has rarely used @POTUS for the diatribes and ramblings that have become synonymous with his presidency, he has used it to retweet messages from his personal account to tens of millions of people,” the site noted.