When Trump leaves office in 2021, his Twitter account will be subject to the same rules that apply to normal accounts.
Starting on January 20th, 2021, US President Donald Trump will lose his “world leader” status on Twitter. Trump’s account and Tweets will soon be subject to removal if he breaks Twitter’s policies.
Trump’s Loses His “Free Pass” on Twitter
Joe Biden has won the US presidential election, and President Trump will be out of the White House in January 2021.
Since assuming office, President Trump’s Twitter account has been protected by Twitter’s public interest policies that apply to world leaders and government officials.
Twitter takes a more lenient approach to these types of accounts, and doesn’t always remove Tweets for breaking the platform’s rules. The platform will only consider taking down an official’s Tweet if it contains anything about terrorism, violence, illegal goods, self-harm, private information, or election integrity.
On Twitter’s public interest Help Center page, Twitter outlines the alternative actions it takes when an official violates its policies, stating:
In rare instances, we may choose to leave up a Tweet from an elected or government official that would otherwise be taken down. Instead we will place it behind a notice providing context about the rule violation that allows people to click through to see the Tweet.
President Trump has violated Twitter’s rules several times, resulting in Twitter slapping labels on Trump’s Tweets, and limiting those Tweets’ shareability.
Twitter has already shut down Trump’s Tweet that falsely claimed victory in the presidential election, and has even applied a label to Trump’s misleading Tweet about COVID-19. This is in addition to numerous other Tweets that Twitter took action on.
Come January, President Trump will no longer be immune to Twitter’s punishments for rule-breakers. If he violates Twitter’s policies too many times, his @RealDonaldTrump account may be banned or suspended from the platform. As for his individual Tweets, they also may be subject to takedowns.
In a statement to the HuffPost, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed that Twitter’s “policy framework applies to current world leaders and candidates for office, and not private citizens when they no longer hold these positions.”
The spokesperson also noted that the platform’s “approach to world leaders, candidates, and public officials is based on the principle that people should be able to choose to see what their leaders are saying with clear context.”
And since Trump will soon no longer be a world leader in January 2021, it will no longer be necessary (or fair) to display his Tweets that violate the rules.
Will Twitter Shut Down Trump?
Twitter has been fighting a long battle against the moral challenges posed by President Trump’s Tweets. When Trump no longer has Twitter’s protections for world leaders, it’s very possible that his account could be removed or suspended for violating Twitter’s policies.
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