Did Twitter just ban Trump? Here's a complete timeline of what happened

Did Twitter just ban Trump? Here's a complete timeline of what happened

Was Donald Trump finally banned from tweeting?

News reports yesterday seemed to suggest so.

But the truth is a little more complicated than that...

So what actually happened?

Before Twitter took action, Facebook was actually first to sanction the president for sharing this particular misinformation about coronavirus. Trump shared a video of an interview he gave to Fox News in which he claimed that children are "almost immune" to the virus to his official page.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone then confirmed that this post had been removed for breaking the rules. He said:

This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from Covid-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful Covid misinformation.

Trump's campaign team were furious with Facebook for removing Trump's post. Spokesperson Courtney Parella claimed that Trump was simply "stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus".

She went on to accuse Silicon Valley of being biased against the president, adding "social media companies are not the arbiters of truth".

Elsewhere in Trump's interview, he claimed that children "just don't have a problem" with coronavirus. While its effects tend not to be as deadly in children as in older generations, Covid-19 can absolutely be contracted by children.

Trump also shared a link to the video on Twitter.

Like Facebook, Twitter removed the post for violating its rules.

In recent months, social media companies like Twitter and Facebook have taken a harder line on the spread of misinformation on their sites, especially concerning coronavirus.

Last month, Donald Trump Jr received a temporary ban from Twitter for sharing a video in which a doctor falsely claims hydroxychloroquine can 'cure' coronavirus.

Trump has also seen some of his tweets removed or flagged as "potentially misleading".

News outlets reported that Twitter had temporarily banned Trump from tweeting.

After Trump's tweet was removed, The Washington Post and others quoted a Twitter spokesperson as saying:

The tweet you referenced is in violation of the Twitter rules on Covid-19 misinformation. The account owner will be required to remove the tweet before they can tweet again.

The tweet in question contains the following nonsense, spoken by the president: "If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely — but, almost immune from this disease".

But celebrations that the president had finally fallen silent were premature.

A simple case of crossed wires meant that the Twitter spokesperson was referring to a tweet by Trump's official campaign team, @TeamTrump, while the reporter was referring to a tweet by the president.

The confusion arose because while @TeamTrump shared the video directly, Trump shared a copy and pasted link to that tweet.

So no, Trump wasn't actually banned from tweeting.

His copy and pasted link was taken down but he received no further sanctions.

The Twitter spokesperson took responsibility for the mix-up.

That's on me. I should have been more clear.

Of course, it's still fairly embarrassing for Trump that his campaign team received a temporary ban for sharing something he said. But it does still beg the question: if he had shared the video directly, would the president have received an unprecedented Twitter ban? A Twitter spokesperson reportedly refused to answer this question when approached by other outlets.

Indy100 have contacted Twitter to find out, and we'll update you if they respond.

The Conversation (0)