Donald Trump's biggest defeat: no tweeting
The social media network made a small man feel big. He's not so big anymore. He's getting smaller and smaller.
A few days ago I wrote a piece called “A terrorist group storms the US Senate.” That didn’t go down well with some readers, as this arrived in my inbox:
“Sent from my iPhone” absolutely destroyed me.
I’m not sure what Ian expected from Webworm, to be honest. But it appeared to be a bad day for Ian. And it’s been a bad few days for the Trump supporters who rioted their way into the Capitol Building.
I mean imagine waking up, your muscles a bit sore from the rioting; your throat a bit raspy from the screaming and yelling. You probably have some bruises, and are very tired. You then look at news footage of you inside the Capitol building and realise you appear to be a lost, massive idiot milling around aimlessly. You read that five people are dead. It then dawns on you that you’re probably a criminal and wanted by the police and FBI. And then, to top it all off, you discover that all your Trump buddies are calling you ANTIFA. Fuck.
This actually explained the whole situation in a truly poetic way, as the boards turned on the idiocy of QAnon:
And it’s true.
Those who stormed the Capitol have woken up to a very sad reality. So sad, they’ve been literally crying:
As well as crying, they’ve been getting arrested — which is what happens when you gleefully post your crimes online.
In an initial batch of 68 arrests, MPD officials said one person was based in Washington, D.C., 11 more were from neighboring Maryland and Virginia, and 50 others came from 18 additional states.
On Friday, federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., announced the arrest of newly elected West Virginia state legislator Derrick Evans, who livestreamed his role in Wednesday’s riot on Facebook.
So yeah, it’s been a bad weekend for the guy who ran off with Nancy Pelosi’s lectern:
The man smiling and waving at the camera has been identified as 36-year-old Adam Johnson of Parrish in Manatee County. Johnson is married to a local physician and is a father of five.
Johnson faces the following charges: One count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, one count of theft of government property, [and] one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol ground
An insurrection was apparently too much for Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, the person responsible for rotting millions of brains and delivering the misinformation that directly helped Donald Trump become president has banned him for the remainder of his term (about two weeks).
Twitter went a step further, banning Trump for the foreseeable future:
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open. However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.”
It’s easy to celebrate, but remember how ineffective Jack Dorsey has been over the last four years in cutting back the bullshit on his giant social network.
Trump was unhappy at the ban, and reacted like an angry child, desperately trying to use other Twitter accounts. First he hopped onto the @POTUS account with a string of bratty tweets:
He then jumped over onto @TeamTrump, sending out the same tweets from that account, too. That account was then suspended by Twitter.
Next, as The Verge reported, Trump’s former digital director Gary Coby then offered up his account for Trump to use. He even changed the profile picture to Trump’s former profile picture.
Gary was promptly banned.
Trump needed to tweet. It was a giant source of validation for him. It made a small man feel big.
Twitter’s also done a mass purge of QAnon twitter accounts, including those of Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn. Pro-Trump cartoonist Ben Garrison is also gone.
And Trump’s friends are going down, too. YouTube has wiped out Steve Bannon's “War Room” podcast: “Terminated for a violation of YouTube's Terms of Service.”
It got worse. Trump’s e-mail provider cut him off, meaning he could no longer do his deranged mass emails.
All in all, the last few days have felt kind of… sane. America and the world opening up and getting stuck into Trump’s America. As this Twitter thread points out, “The United States getting absolutely roasted across the world from newspapers in India, Kenya, Nigeria and Italy.”
It’s all too little, too late. And of course Facebook, Twitter and YouTube feel empowered to do this because Trump is losing his power. He is not going to be a president for much longer. He is going to be a nobody. A joke.
A stain on history we’ve had to endure.
Because Trump’s tactic of repeating a lie until it becomes true to millions worked.
And those platforms allowed him to do it. Endlessly, for years. So let’s not congratulate them too much. They helped put him there in the first place, and they aggressively helped spread his lies for the last four years. They drove an insurrection.
PS: If you want to support my work here on Webworm, you can subscribe for $6.99 (US) a month or $69.69 (US) a year. Only do this if it doesn’t put you under any kind of financial strain.
-sent from my iPhone
PPS: In all of this awfulness, humour. I think this is probably one of my favourite, most skilful TikToks I’ve seen:
Just the way the kid even gets the breath just right. Bravo.
Heather Cox Richardson raised a really good point about the sudden action from social media companies which I hadn't considered:
"While Twitter officials might well be horrified by the insurrection, the ban is also a sign of a changing government. With the election of two Democratic senators from Georgia this week, the majority goes to the Democrats, and McConnell will no longer be Majority Leader, killing bills. Social media giants know regulation of some sort is around the corner, and they are trying to look compliant fast. When Twitter banned Trump, so did Reddit, and Facebook and Instagram already had. Google Play Store removed Parler, warning it to clean up its content moderation."
It’s so frustrating that everyone has waited until the last minute to start taking this moron on. It’s frustrating that they let every single one of those people walk out of the capital and started arresting them after the fact.
the precedence his presidency has set into place makes me terrified for what happens in the future. even if trump is impeached and prevented from running again, this level of corruption and deception has been accepted as appropriate behavior for a president by half of the US. Next time we are likely to be facing someone even worse.
Fleeing to the other side of the world becomes more enticing every day.