- President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., on Saturday, complained about his father’s being banned on Twitter, inviting his followers to sign up for his email blasts in case Twitter were to ban him, too.
- “Big tech is able to censor the President?” he wrote. “Free speech is dead & controlled by leftist overlords.”
- For the vast majority of his presidency, Twitter allowed Trump to remain on the platform due to the newsworthiness of his posts, but he was banned Friday after his followers’ deadly attack on the US Capitol on Wednesday.
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Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of President Donald Trump, on Saturday took to Twitter to rebuke his father’s permanent ban from the platform.
“The world is laughing at America & Mao, Lenin, & Stalin are smiling,” Trump Jr. said in a tweet. “Big tech is able to censor the President? Free speech is dead & controlled by leftist overlords.”
His comments Saturday echo those he made Friday, in which he said freedom of speech “no longer exists in America. It died with big tech and what’s left is only there for a chosen few.”
Read more: Secret Service experts are speculating in group chats about how Trump might be hauled out of the White House if he won’t budge on Inauguration Day
Twitter on Friday evening said the president, who during his administration used Twitter as his primary way to communicate with Americans, had been permanently banned from tweeting. The ban followed Wednesday’s deadly insurrection at the US Capitol where supporters of the president stormed the building while lawmakers were meeting to discuss the certification of the Electoral College vote.
Prior to the January 6 insurrection, Trump had encouraged his Twitter followers to come to Washington, DC, as part of the “Stop the Steal” movement, which baselessly alleges Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden was the result of widespread voter fraud. There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the election, and Trump and his allies weren’t able to substantiate the claim during the months he refused to concede his loss.
“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,” the company said in a statement Friday night.
Despite claims by the president’s allies, his bans from platforms like Facebook and Twitter do not violate the First Amendment or other US law, as Insider previously noted.
As rioters remained at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Trump posted a video on Twitter in which he repeated his baseless claim of election fraud and told the rioters, “Go home. We love you; you’re very special.”
—Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 9, 2021
Twitter had initially suspended the president’s account for 12 hours but warned it could take further action should he continue to violate its policies on civic integrity and making violent threats.
Republicans have long complained of censorship by tech and social media executives, whose companies in recent months have taken stronger actions against disinformation and misinformation on their platforms. For much of 2020, for example, the president’s tweets often carried a disclaimer that the content of his posts was disputed by reputable sources.
Republicans, including Trump, have called for the repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), which gives tech companies the ability to decide how to moderate content and protects them from being liable for their user’s posts.
GOP lawmakers have claimed that the law leads to tech companies’ censorship of conservatives. Democrats have also taken issue with the law, as Insider previously reported, as they believe it affords tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Facebook, too great of protections from the content hosted on their platforms.
Trump Jr. on Saturday also encouraged his followers to sign up for his email blasts so they could follow where he ends up should Twitter ban him for violating its policies, too.
In the wake of this week’s insurrection at the Capitol, a growing number of conservatives have announced they’re jumping ship to Parler, the platform that has been called a right-wing alternative to Twitter, either protesting the president’s ban or fearing they’ll too be barred from the social network. Gab, a platform with similar right-wing ties, has also attempted to court users angered by Twitter’s decision to remove the president.
Shortly after Twitter banned the president, he posted to the platform using the @POTUS account, which will be transferred to Biden when he assumes office, but Twitter nearly immediately removed the posts. It also banned an account associated with his 2020 presidential campaign.