In the United States, 6 Jan. will forever be remembered not only as the day a pro-Trump mob violently stormed the nation's Capitol in an act of domestic terrorism, but also as the day Donald Trump was finally banned from social media — well, momentarily, at least. As the great JoJo famously said in her 2006 hit, however, "it's just too little, too late," and the damage has already been done.
As insurrectionists invaded and pillaged the Capitol building in Washington DC, bringing Congress's election certification proceedings to an abrupt halt, Trump shared a pre-recorded video message instructing window-smashing, office-ransacking rioters to go home, right before telling them, "we love you" and "you're very special." Yep, I was just as appalled as I hope you were, too.
After the outgoing president shared the address across his social media platforms, the execs over at Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook chose to remove the clip and announced that his accounts would be temporarily suspended. Trump's Twitter account was put on a 12-hour lock that has now expired, although he has yet to share any new tweets since it unfroze, and the platform threatened "permanent suspension" of his account if he violates any of its policies in the future. Meanwhile, both Facebook and Instagram initially blocked his pages from sharing new content for 24 hours, but later chose to extend the block "indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks."
We're essentially 99.8 percent of the way through his presidency, and they're just now waking up and realising how dangerous Trump's rhetoric is?
Pardon my French, but how and why in the f*ck did it take so long for these companies to condemn Trump's irrational, conspiracy-spreading, riot-stoking social media tirades? We're essentially 99.8 percent of the way through his presidency, and they're just now waking up and realising how dangerous Trump's rhetoric is? Merely 14 days before he leaves office, they finally found the chutzpah to speak up, but let's not praise them for doing the bare minimum after years of letting this fester like an untended wound. Let's demand they change that "indefinitely" to "permanently."
Time and time again, Trump has demonstrated his highly unpresidential proclivity for promoting misinformation, spreading racist claims, attacking the media, threatening and insulting his foes, and touting his own so-called "accomplishments" on social media (not to mention his inability to grasp the concept of proper grammar and capitalisation).
Who remembers when he reposted a disturbing video showing him tackling and beating up a figure intended to represent CNN back in 2017? Or how about when he threatened protesters by tweeting, "When the looting starts, the shooting starts"? Or when he told his 88 million followers, "Don't be afraid of Covid," despite the fact that it has taken the lives of more than 300,000 Americans? What about his repeated, false assertions that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from him? Oh, and let's not forget when he kicked off 2018 by taunting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about the size of his "nuclear button."
Where were Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey all the other times Trump put his instability on a silver platter for millions to gawk at? Sure, their recent decisions to suspend him from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook will relieve us from his rants through Inauguration Day, at the very least, but it shouldn't stop there. I think I speak for much of America when I say: grow a spine, Zuck and Dorsey, and extend these bans . . . until the end of time.