Twitter on Thursday took swift action to suspend several accounts that systematically shared posts from Trump’s new blog onto his old favourite social media platform. The most prominent account was called @DJTDesk, but several others with similar names were also suspended.
All of the accounts were explicitly devoted to copying and sharing posts from “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” the ex-president’s new substitute for social media.
Trump has been banned from Twitter since he encouraged the U.S. Capitol rioters last January, and Twitter treated these new accounts as attempts to evade that ban.
“As stated in our ban evasion policy, we’ll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account,” a spokesperson for Twitter said in a statement to various outlets including NBC News.
The @DJTDesk account had amassed a few thousand followers before it was banned, and it’s unclear who was behind it. The account’s bio section touted it as a place dedicated to sharing posts “copied from Save America on behalf of the 45th POTUS; Originally composed via DonaldJTrump/Desk.”
Trump adviser Jason Miller told NBC News on Thursday that @DJTDesk was not set up by or run with the permission of anyone affiliated with the ex-president.
The accounts were sharing posts from Trump’s Twitter-like blog, which he launched within his website on Wednesday. Trump’s blog includes a months-long feed of his political endorsements, attacks, complaints and false claims about the election that he lost to U.S. President Joe Biden.
Critics were quick to report the accounts on Twitter Wednesday, with many clamouring for the social media giant to keep Trump’s rhetoric off the site. Others lamented that Trump’s free speech was being silenced.
The former president has been banned from most major social media platforms for encouraging violence during the U.S. Capitol attack on Jan. 6. That attack broke out after Trump whipped up a mob with baseless claims of systemic voter fraud, then urged them to march on the Capitol where Biden’s election win was being certified.
The mob delayed the vote but failed to overturn the democratic result in a riot that left five people dead.
Twitter and Facebook booted Trump off their platforms later in the day after he told the rioters that he “loved” them in a social media post. Twitter has maintained its ban on Trump ever since, while Facebook’s Oversight Board ruled on Wednesday that he should remain banned from the company’s platforms for at least six months.
Trump responded to that decision with a lengthy diatribe against Facebook on his blog, which does not have the same character limits as Twitter.
“Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States,” Trump wrote in one part of his blog.
Biden has not addressed the Facebook decision on any of his social media platforms. However, his spokesperson did dismiss claims that Trump had been denied his First Amendment rights.
“The major platforms have a responsibility … to stop amplifying untrustworthy content, disinformation and misinformation, especially related to COVID-19, vaccinations and elections,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.
Trump has continued to baselessly claim that he was robbed of a second term due to systemic voter fraud.
His lawyers lost more than 60 court cases after the election while failing to prove any of his systemic fraud claims.
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