Donald Trump’s behavior after the Capitol robbery, which killed at least five people, as well as the temporary suspension of the rectification of Joe Biden’s victory, did not leave social networks indifferent.
Throughout the week of the incident, several online platforms decided to take tighter measures, blocking the outgoing president’s accounts, as well as content related to pro-Trump movements or conspiracy theories, such as QAnon. The story of events is not yet closed, but there is already much to tell about what has happened in the last few days.
In addition to TikTok and YouTube, Snapchat, Reddit, Twitch, Discord and Pinterest also advanced with restrictive measures. O Financial Times reports although the ecommerce platform Shopify eliminated two online stores affiliated with Donald Trump.
After Mark Zuckerberg have announced that Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts would be suspended indefinitely, in a “punishment” that could last until January 20, Twitter decided to permanently ban the outgoing president’s account (@realDonaldTrump).
In a statement, the company explains that the decision was made after concluding that the account’s publications could be interpreted as an incitement to carry out more violent acts similar to those that happened on Capitol Hill.
According to the social network, Donald Trump’s tweets after the invasion present themselves as a form of support for extremists and their behavior, violating their policies against the glorification of violence.
In addition, “plans for future armed protests have already begun to proliferate, whether on or off Twitter, including a second attack on the Capitol on January 17,” the company stresses.
On the same day, Twitter also suspended the accounts of Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to Donald Trump, Sidney Powell, Pro-Trump lawyer and Ron Watkins, one of the most prominent figures in the QAnon movement.
The president’s three “allies” played a prominent role in the dissemination of conspiracy theories, often calling for the use of violence. To the international press, Twitter made it known that accounts were permanently suspended since their publications are going to against your rules and that it is proceeding in the same way for all accounts dedicated exclusively to the publication of content related to QAnon.
To try to circumvent the lock on his account, Donald Trump even tried to use the @POTUS account, the official account reserved for the President of the United States on Twitter, but the social network ended up eliminating the publications made almost immediately.
THE CBS News details that the outgoing president will have taken the opportunity to reiterate his position against Twitter, accusing him of devising a plan in collaboration with “the democrats and the radical left” to silence him and the “75,000,000 great patriots” who voted for him .
Donald Trump reportedly indicated that he was negotiating with other sites in order to “escape” the blockades and that he would have a “big announcement” soon. The publication also made it known that the president would be considering building his own social network in the near future.
Alternatives to major social networks are also being blocked
Apart from the main social networks, applications like Parler or Gab, which claim to be platforms where “freedom of expression” reigns, are often used by supporters of Donald Trump and members of extreme right movements.
Gab, which was removed from the Play Store in 2017 and whose App Store entry was rejected by Apple for violating both companies’ hate speech policies, is gaining traction. Just last week, right after Donald Trump’s blockade, platform stated that it was receiving more than 10,000 new users every hour.
Parler, as well as Telegram and TheDonald.win platform, were used to plan and coordinate the incident at the Capitol, with its users explicitly expressing their intentions to invade it, advances NBC News. In line with what Twitter had already revealed, the platforms are being used again to promise a “round 2” of the assault.
Google was the first to block Parler, removing it from its digital store on January 8. In a statement to the international press, the technology company clarifies that it is aware of the publications made through Parler that incite violence in the United States, indicating that it will suspend it until the responsible company takes additional measures to moderate the content.
After the block, the app experienced a boom in installations on the App Store, according to data from the consultant Sensor Tower quoted by Tech Crunch website. In the United States, Parler recorded 182,000 new downloads, an increase of 355% over the previous month.
However, in line with the Mountain View giant, Apple ended up making the same decision after giving the company 24 hours to implement a moderation plan on its platform. “We have always advocated that there are different points of view represented on the App Store, but on our platform there is no place for threats or illegal activities,” says the company in a statement.
“Parler has not taken adequate measures to respond to the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety.” Apple also stresses that it will keep the application out of its store until the company solves the problem.