Trump Moves to Return to Twitter and Facebook After Being Banned Over Risk of ‘Incitement of Violence’ and to Public Safety
At 8:36 PM on January 6, 2021, Facebook publicly announced it was imposing a 24-hour block on then-President Donald Trump, following the deadly riot and insurrection on Capitol Hill. The following day Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, citing the “use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government,” announced the social media giant had banned Trump “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
On January 8, 2021, Twitter announced its permanent suspension of Donald Trump’s account, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” after the January 6 insurrection. Citing two tweets earlier that day, Twitter “determined that they were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.”
The company found the tweets “are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.”
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Two years later Donald Trump is preparing to return to both social media platforms, according to NBC News.
Several factors are responsible.
Over at Facebook, its Oversight Board decided in June of 2021 Trump’s suspension would be in place for just two years, starting in January of 2021, but also appeared to make clear the suspension would be lifted after that time, although its stated it would “look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.”
“When the suspension is eventually lifted,” Facebook’s Oversight Board said at the time, making clear the suspension would be lifted “when,” and not “if,” “there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.”
The company has not yet made any decision public, but is expected to do so soon.
And at Twitter, Elon Musk purchased the company and reinstated numerous far right wing accounts, including Trump’s.
Trump has repeatedly stated he would not return to Twitter after starting his own social media platform. Truth Social pales in comparison to both Twitter and Facebook.
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“With access to his Twitter account back,” NBC News reports, “Trump’s campaign is formally petitioning Facebook’s parent company to unblock his account there after it was locked in response to the U.S. Capitol riot two years ago.”
The Trump campaign is urging Meta, Facebook’s parent company, to allow him to return.
“’We believe that the ban on President Trump’s account on Facebook has dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse,’ Trump’s campaign wrote in its letter to Meta on Tuesday, according to a copy reviewed by NBC News.”
Tech Policy Press editor Justin Hendrix notes the letter to Meta comes on the “Same day a J6 Committee draft report detailed how he used social media to incite an insurrection.”
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Meta says it “will announce a decision in the coming weeks in line with the process we laid out.”
NBC News, citing two anonymous Trump confidantes, reports, “Trump has sought input for weeks about hopping back on Twitter and that his campaign advisers have also workshopped ideas for his first tweet.”
Another, a Trump advisor, warned if the Facebook ban on Trump is extended, House Republicans will pressure Meta. NBC’s reporting suggests they would use hearings on how federal law treats social media platforms as “leverage.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and two other colleagues sent Meta a letter urging the ban be extended.
“Trump has continued to post harmful election content on Truth Social that would likely violate Facebook’s policies, and we have every reason to believe he would bring similar conspiratorial rhetoric back to Facebook, if given the chance,” they wrote.
AFP’s White House correspondent Sebastian Smith suggests it is, “Worth remembering Trump was thrown off FBook and Twitter because those platforms were his principle avenues for deluding an enormous part of the country into believing that the 2020 election was ‘stolen’.”
Noah Bookbinder, the president of the government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), posted this warning: “Donald Trump tried to overturn a free and fair election that he lost and incited a violent insurrection to try to keep himself in power. That he would be given back the megaphone of Twitter, and now maybe Facebook, is beyond irresponsible.”
Image via Shuttterstock
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Pence Presidential Launch Mocked for Suggesting Drag Queens Are Assaulting ‘American Values’ – With No Mention of Trump
Former Trump vice president Mike Pence on Wednesday officially launched his 2024 campaign for the White House, in a lengthy, polished video carefully constructed to position himself as the torch-bearer of American values, including Christian nationalism, while conveniently all but ignoring his four-plus years spent in service to Donald Trump, who recently was held liable by a jury for sexual abuse, is currently under a 34-count state felony indictment, and expected to soon be facing a slew of federal and state charges amid several other investigations.
“I believe in the American people, and I have faith God is not done with America yet,” Pence tweeted atop his campaign video. “Together, we can bring this Country back, and the best days for the Greatest Nation on Earth are yet to come!”
The well-known presidential historian Michael Beschloss, author of ten books, noted that it will “not be easy for a VP to separate himself from the President he served for four years.”
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And he made this critical observation: Pence’s “just-released announcement video cites ‘drag queens’ and Biden-Harris but not a single mention or image of You-Know-Who,” referring to Donald Trump.
In fact, in Pence’s video (below), he falsely claims, “President Joe Biden and the radical left have weakened America at home and abroad.”
“The American dream is being crushed under runaway inflation. Wages are dropping, recession is looming. Our southern border is under siege.”
“And the enemies of freedom are on the march around the world,” Pence continues.
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“And worse still, timeless American values are under assault as never before,” Pence cries.
As he says those words, the video shows three frames that appear to be clipped from TV news reports. One reads, “VA Parents Push Back Against Critical Race Theory,” one reads, “Controversy Over Female Trans Swimmer,” and the last one reads, “Drag Queens Storm Faith-Based Story Hour in AR.”
Journalist Grace Panetta offered a similar observation, tweeting, “Former VP Mike Pence’s presidential announcement video features faith imagery and headlines about trans athletes and drag queens, but no obvious references to abortion, to which he is staunchly opposed.”
Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett, senior advisor to former Obama cabinet secretary Julián Castro, went one step further.
“In his announcement,” Hackett writes, “Mike Pence says ‘timeless American values are under assault’ as headlines about drag shows and trans athletes play. But nothing about the armed Trump mob who tried to hang him at the Capitol.”
Watch Pence’s video below or at this link.
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Fox News’ Sean Hannity Whines Charging Trump With ‘Obscure’ Obstruction Is Unfair
Fox News host Sean Hannity suggested on Tuesday’s edition of his radio show that the possibility of former President Donald Trump getting charged with obstruction of justice is unfair because President Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton never had their homes “raided” by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“So you know, and here’s the other problem, you know, with top secret classified documents. So what they’re doing here is they’re not going to go after what they thought was the crime. Because they didn’t raid Hillary Clinton’s residences. They didn’t raid Joe Biden’s four places where he had top secret classified information. No,” Hannity complained.
Both Clinton and Biden cooperated with federal investigators. Refusing to do so, or impeding their work, is considered obstruction, which is a felony.
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“So they’ll look to something obscure,” Hannity continued. “‘Well, as a result of the investigation, it is alleged that Donald Trump obstructed justice’ — blah blah blah blah blah. Which, by the way, I would argue, legally, he doesn’t have any obligation to cooperate with, and nor can anyone give a real definition of whether or not, you know, exactly how one president is supposed to declassify the materials anyway.”
Trump has claimed that he declassified documents psychically and that they automatically had that status once he took them from the White House. Those statements are not just false — Trump was recorded acknowledging the limits to his power to declassify certain items, such as war plans for an attack on Iran.
Hannity then said that “it’s not going to have anything to do with the documents themselves, except it’ll be a process crime. That is my prediction.”
There are many indicators that Trump could facing an espionage charge (among a litant of others), as recently highlighted by experts.
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“They’re gonna go down the process crime route and they won’t apply the same standards to Joe, just like they didn’t apply the same standards to the Hillary, and whatever bone they throw you on Hunter is the low-hanging fruit that does not get to the heart of the family business with a multitude of countries that they were paid a fortune from,” Hannity added. “And we still haven’t gotten the final numbers, and clearly, Hunter Biden with no experience was leading up the effort and implicates his own father. They’re gonna stay as far away from the real crux of what legality would impact Joe Biden and just go after Donald Trump, to just continue their policies of politicizing or criminalizing political differences.”
Listen below via Media Matters for America or at this link.
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Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license
Buttigieg: Republicans Are Targeting LGBTQ People Because They ‘Don’t Want to Talk About’ Their Own ‘Radical Positions’
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg blasted Republicans attacking the LGBTQ community on Tuesday, saying the reason right-wing lawmakers have decided to target them is they don’t want to talk about their “radical positions,” including opposing President Joe Biden’s massive infrastructure law and other accomplishments, like $35 insulin.
Appearing on MSNBC, Secretary Buttigieg was asked to weigh in on the Human Rights Campaign’s declaration earlier in the day, of a national emergency in the U.S. for LGBTQ people.
“We have officially declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people in the United States for the first time following an unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping state houses this year,” the organizations says on its website. “More than 75 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been signed into law this year alone, more than doubling last year’s number, which was previously the worst year on record.”
HRC also published a detailed chart by state on various issues, including bans on gender-affirming care, sports participation, drag, or support for forced student outing.
And while HRC points to the more than 75 bills that have been signed into law this year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says it’s currently tracking 491 anti-LGBTQ bills across the country.
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“Our country is at a very real risk of backsliding on freedom and equality but that is exactly why we continue to push. There has been extraordinary work that’s been done just in this presidency,” Buttigieg said, responding to HRC’s national emergency declaration. He specifically pointed to “the President being able to sign the Respect for Marriage Act.”
“And if you zoom out to the progress that’s been made in the last 10 or 15 years, including the ability of somebody like me to be standing here doing this job, it’s extraordinary, and yet, now you see the attacks on the LGBTQ community, especially on the trans community and what they’re going through,” Buttigieg, who is the first out gay U.S. Cabinet Secretary, told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing.
“And I think it’s being done out of the perception that it is politically convenient to target vulnerable groups. And honestly, I think where it largely comes from is folks who don’t want to talk about why they were against the infrastructure loans, building roads and bridges. They don’t want to talk about why they were against $35 insulin that the President delivered for Medicare recipients. They don’t want to explain why they were for these radical positions that speak to what those people are worried about their everyday lives.”
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“So they’re focused on targeting some of the people who already do not have a very easy time going about everyday life,” he said.
“Think about how hard it is to be a teenager to begin with. But think about how hard it is to be a teenager when you realize that you are different when you’re coming to terms with your gender identity or you’re coming to terms with realizing that you’re gay or lesbian.”
“The last thing you need in your life are politicians trying to score political points by making things worse for you. We’re gonna stand together, whether it’s pride or just on any given day and say no, we’re going to expand, not withdraw, the freedoms and equalities we won in this country, and we’re going to build on them.”
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