The cons of Trump’s media ban


Graeme Sloan / Bloomberg

What formerly displayed Donald Trump’s Twitter profile now shows a notification of suspension. Twitter officials have made it clear that the platform does not plan on restoring the account.

News of the storming of the Capitol building spread like wildfire. What followed was something not many expected at the time: the ban of Donald Trump’s various social media accounts. Trump’s Twitter account was suspended just two weeks before he left office, and other platforms such as Twitch, Snapchat and Instagram followed suit. The common justification among these platforms was that the 45th President was inciting violence leading up to and following the act of terror in Washington D.C. For most social media platforms, this is a bannable offense.

Although the country is already heavily divided when it comes to politics, Trump’s exile from social media seems to be making it worse. Many Trump supporters are angry and feel that the ban was uncalled for. 

“I think [the] media wanted to do it, ban Trump, for a really long time and they just decided to do it now because they were just sitting there waiting for him to mess up,” Luke Carlson (12) said. “I don’t believe he messed up, though.”

The outrage of Trump supporters could spark unintended consequences for these platforms. Trump and his massive following have been open about their frustrations with the restriction of his online presence. Maxwell O’Hearn (11) believes that this could cause economic loss for these companies, specifically Shopify, which deactivated two Trump-affiliated online-based stores. 

“For some of the platforms that banned him, for example Shopify, there could be significant financial loss because of angry Trump supporters,” O’Hearn said. 

Another result of the shared sentiment among Trump supporters is the negative effect on the transition of power. Even before the ban, Trump’s tweets caused many to reject the results of the election and regard Biden’s victory as fraudulent. Now, it seems that Trump supporters hold even less respect for the new administration as a result of this deplatforming. 

“It is making some Republicans reluctant to accept President Biden as president,” Tyus Davis (10) said. “They are enraged at the media and are taking it out on him, furthering the polarization of bipartisan politics.” 

A common argument of Trump sympathizers is that this act is an infringement on Trump’s right to free speech. According to the websites that placed the ban, though, Trump violated the terms of use and community guidelines when he promoted violence. However, many still believe that this could have both censored Trump and inhibited his ability to spread information.

“Freedom of speech entails him to be able to say what he wants, when he wants, especially as president.” Carlson said.