In a Friday evening news dump unlike any other in modern history, Twitter suspended the President of the United States from its platform. Donald Trump, who used the platform earlier in the week to incite a coup attempt at the US Capitol that left five people dead, had his account permanently suspended just hours after it was reported the company was not yet willing to deplatform him.
After hundreds of Twitter employees reportedly circulated a letter asking Twitter to ban Trump for his actions on social media, and days after he endured a suspension and two of his tweets were deleted because they were perceived to amplify violence in Washington, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey reportedly outlined how Trump had not yet crossed a “very clear line in the sand” that would remove him from Twitter permanently.
But on Friday evening, the company decided that line had already been crossed, and Twitter’s safety account explained that @realdonaldtrump had been suspended.
After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.https://t.co/CBpE1I6j8Y
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021
Trump had already been suspended from both Facebook and Instagram through the end of his presidential term, but the permanent removal from his favorite social media site coincided with a purge of QAnon-affiliated accounts and other Trump supporters who had helped fuel conspiracy theories and baseless accusations of voter fraud which played a part in Wednesday’s deadly insurrection.
News of Trump removed from Twitter sparked an enormous reaction on the platform he can no longer use. Words like “permanently” and “Trump’s Twitter” immediately started trending, and for many it felt like it was far too late to truly celebrate much of anything.
Twitter after banning Trump 1,449 days into his presidency pic.twitter.com/W5bRvkskcs
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 8, 2021
Twitter did not ban Trump after the "looting/shooting" tweet, or many others. 12 days left of the presidency.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 8, 2021
48 hours post-insurrection, an app created so you can post about what you’re eating for lunch has taken more tangible steps to hold President Trump accountable for his incitement than law enforcement, the cabinet, Congress and the Republican Party combined
— Wesley (@WesleyLowery) January 8, 2021
If you are reading this tweet just know you now have more followers than Donald Trump
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) January 8, 2021
There were still time for plenty of jokes, though.
I can't believe Twitter just destroyed Donald Trump's entire Presidential Library.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) January 8, 2021
Trump currently DMing his friends from his alt asking them to let people know he’s there
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) January 8, 2021
— Jon Tayler, Smiling Politely (@JATayler) January 8, 2021
DO YOU HAVE A TWITTER ACCOUNT I CAN BORROW pic.twitter.com/ASIr6n2LkT
— sba's tweets, sponsored by Key Bank (@essbeeay) January 8, 2021
Many wondered where Trump would turn to fire off his takes next.
In all seriousness, I think Trump should dial into Fox tonight and just cut loose and tell us all what he really thinks about everything.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) January 8, 2021
Some people hoped some of his most absurd tweets will be preserved now that he’s lost his account. And, thankfully, screenshots live forever.
Trump’s first and last tweets:
May 4, 2009: "Be sure to tune in and watch Donald Trump on Late Night with David Letterman as he presents the Top Ten List tonight!”
January 8, 2021: "To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th." pic.twitter.com/ESOBgnJ10N
— Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) January 8, 2021
There were a few good TikTok jokes in there, too.
TikTok getting Twitter to permanently ban Trump before he could ban TikToK pic.twitter.com/tM1X29kLTa
— TЯACE (@scruched) January 8, 2021
Trump deplatformed is a net good, though amid calls for his resignation, the use of the 25th amendment to remove him from power and talk of a second impeachment there really is no telling what will happen next while he’s still technically in power. But we know that whatever it is, we won’t hear about it on Twitter. Not from him, anyway.