Former US President, Donald Trump, had his Twitter account suspended indefinitely following the deadly storming of the US Capitol after Joe Biden was elected US President. Trump was of the opinion that the election was “rigged” and told his followers: “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore”.
Approximately five people were killed during the Capitol riot. Trump was accused of inciting violence and efforts were made to prevent him from using almost all social media platforms to communicate with his loyal followers.
Recently, Trump has asked a federal judge in Florida to force Twitter to restore his account, arguing that Twitter is censoring Trump and violating his first amendment rights. The question is, should Trump be allowed back on Twitter?
America values the right to free speech, with Twitter and other social media platforms providing that space to exercise freedom of expression.
However, when you glorify violence, promote racism and xenophobia, promote Covid-19 misinformation, advocate far right views and conspiracies, initiate culture wars and personally attack people, most social media companies would agree that an individuals’ right to free speech must be curtailed.
Trump not only incited violence, but constantly spread Covid-19 misinformation, promoting QANON conspiracy theories, downplaying the effects of the virus, took pot shots at China and called it the “Chinese Virus”, and constantly undermined expert, Dr Anthony Fauci (member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, under President Trump) and in so doing, Fauci was targeted by his supporters.
Twitter has made it clear that, you may not use their services to share “false or misleading information about Covid-19 which may lead to harm”.
Racism and xenophobia were also topics that the disgraced President tweeted about. Trump said that the Black Lives Matter movement was a “symbol of hate”, obsessively tweeted about Congresswomen of colour and Barack Obama, doubting their American citizenship.
Mexican immigrants were also targeted online, to suit his agenda of dividing Mexico and the United States with a wall. Trump’s tweets very nearly caused a war with Iran in 2018. Twitter and Facebook pledged in 2016, to remove all hate speech content within 24 hours.
In addition to this, Trump controversially used his platform to say that there was no violation of privacy, when Duchess Kate Middleton was pictured nude without her permission. In fact, Trump said that those photographers should sell those photos for money.
Trump has violated multiple social media rules, promoted hate speech and has never contributed anything good to society using his platform to bully and target people. It is safe to say that Trump should not have access to Twitter or any social media platforms to spread his harmful views.
Image Credit: The Independent