Twitter, perhaps knowing the stakes of suspending the personal account of the president, posted a comprehensive explanation of its reasoning. I have trimmed it to two salient paragraphs:
Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks. After assessing the language in these Tweets against our Glorification of Violence policy, we have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.
Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.
I do not understand why Twitter calls this a “permanent suspension” instead of a ban, but that’s what it is.
Even the most powerful people must face consequences. There must be a generally agreed upon line that cannot be crossed. I guess the line for Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook is when their platforms are used to tacitly encourage people to overthrow a fair election in a stable democracy.
Big platforms experimented with taking the laissez-faire moderation style of 4chan mainstream and it backfired. It is long past time that they took a more active role in user moderation.
See Also: Ben Thompson’s piece from yesterday; Mike Masnick today. I often disagree with both on platform moderation issues — see preceding paragraph — but I think they have articulated well why they support a more hands-off approach to moderation more generally, and why they came to believe this ban is due.