Earlier this month in the aftermath of the Capitol riots, Twitter permanently suspended President Trump’s account on grounds that his tweets could potentially “incite” future attacks on federal institutions.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the popular social media platform wrote in their explainer.
Conservatives cried foul at the time, pointing out that based on the tweets which “earned” Trump the permanent suspension literally anyone could be suspended.
Here we are three weeks later, and a Politico piece that was done on how Trump’s suspension was a “priceless gift” to the Biden administration is fueling speculation that Twitter’s decision might have had more to do with making Biden’s time in the Oval Office easier than any alleged “incitement”:
As he entered his first week in office, President Joe Biden was handed a priceless gift: the blissful sound of former President Donald Trump’s Twitter silence.
Gone are the pre-dawn tirades, the all-caps declarations, the “Sleepy Joe” mocking, the Fox News-driven agitations and the general incitements. Instead, Biden debuted a flurry of executive orders without ever having to deal with what surely would have been rapid-fire antagonism from the man whose legacy he was dismantling.
Inside the White House, officials insist that their communications strategy hasn’t changed simply because Trump is both gone and silent.
But even if the strategy would have remained the same, Biden’s team also concedes that the absence of Trump and his Twitter feed has been a pleasant addition to the job it’s doing.
“Not having to deal with a deranged new tweet every hour? They feel blessed,” an outside adviser said.
Indeed, Twitter’s suspension of Trump’s account has seemed to realign the political universe, minimizing diversions and interruptions as the broader conversation over Biden’s agenda played out.
“Social media does its part” the DC Examiner’s Byron York tweeted in response to the story:
Social media does its part. Biden White House officials ‘feel blessed’ by Twitter’s decision to silence former President Trump. From @politico: ‘The greatest gift Biden ever received was Trump getting booted off Twitter.’ https://t.co/NXoKZe90WY
— Byron York (@ByronYork) January 28, 2021
Others had similar reactions:
The most telling paragraph in here: @JoeBiden benefits from being able to ignore opposition to KeystoneXL job cuts, draconian executive orders, plagiarism of Trump’s COVID policies, etc. Our media are celebrating censorship https://t.co/2GHeZmLRHM
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) January 28, 2021
— That’s not me,it’s Murphy’s yearbook pic (@Thelmavrh) January 28, 2021
So-called “journalists” eagerly shared the story, including CNN’s resident media hall monitor Brian Stelter and the AP’s Jon Lemire.
There’s no way to know for sure whether or not Twitter really banned Trump in order to smooth the path for Joe Biden’s presidency, but considering how a lot of things happened around the time of Trump’s banning, like Twitter purging followers and Big Tech nuking Parler’s website, it’s easy to see why people would speculate that Twitter used milquetoast tweets from Trump as an excuse to dump him off the platform so Joe Biden wouldn’t have to deal with the “interference” of a vocal ex-president.