Twitter is breaking up with Trump for good
Donald Trump's time on Twitter is done for good. In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Twitter's chief financial officer Ned Segal confirmed that Trump is banned from Twitter permanently. That ban will apply even if Trump decides to run for office again; Trump had previously escaped reprimand from Twitter and other platforms because they reasoned that his words were a matter of public import because he was the U.S. president. The perma-ban means Trump is officially cut off from the platform that allowed him to regularly ruffle feathers, declare policy, and just generally Tweet Through It whenever a new controversy struck his administration.
When contacted by Mic, a spokesperson for Twitter said the company had "nothing new to share" regarding the state of Trump's presence on the platform. "The account will be suspended from our service permanently," the spokesperson said.
Twitter first announced Trump’s permanent ousting Jan. 8. The ban followed a suspension, which the company handed down after Trump incited the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and then failed to condemn the rioters after they stormed the building looking to harm lawmakers. Other social media platforms, including Facebook, took similar action, but have not yet determined if Trump will eventually be allowed back on their platforms.
While the move is technically is just a continuation of the policy that the company put in place more than a month ago, Twitter is the first platform to publicly confirm that it will not allow Trump to return ever again — even if he makes his way back into public office. "The way our policies work, when you're removed from the platform, you're removed from the platform whether you're a commentator, you're a CFO, or you are a former or current public official," Segal told CNBC.
The deplatforming of Trump by Twitter and other social networks has certainly limited the former president's ability to get the word out, which suggests that maybe Trump wasn't as good at social media as we all thought. The former president was regularly able to whip his more than 80 million followers into a fervor on Twitter, but without him, there’s been a bit of a vacuum in the Trumpiest corner of the internet.
While it was assumed that many Trump backers would ditch Twitter and other mainstream platforms for alt-tech options like Gab or Parler, it doesn't seem like they've really put a dent in these businesses. Twitter reported more than 5 million new daily active users in the last quarter. Even the far-right Gab has reported significant growth, including a 40% traffic increase following Jan. 6, according to a report from NPR. But it's not clear how sustainable that growth is, particularly because it appears that Trump won't be showing up any time soon. While the former president has kicked around the idea of starting his own social network and reportedly was negotiating a deal to post exclusively on Parler before the site was banned from its hosting service by Amazon, he's largely been silent in public since his ban.
For now, the only time the public seems to hear from Trump is from little tidbits in news stories, like the latest from The New York Times that indicated he was pissed that his impeachment defense lawyers seemed entirely incompetent in the first day of the trial.
Honestly, that might be the best way to experience Trump. Just imagine some random capitalization and it's like he never left.