As I sat gobsmacked in front of my computer trying to keep up with the historic events unfolding at the U.S. Capitol today, I saw the news that Twitter, Instagram and Facebook had locked Trump out of his accounts for violating the social media networks’ rules.
I’m pretty sure he’s been violating the rules of all three for years. He’s certainly been ridiculing and abusing probably hundreds of people on Twitter throughout his presidency.
Back in 2017, after a verbal assault on morning talk-show host Mika Brzezinski I wrote a piece urging Twitter to cut him off.
At the time, I quoted Twitter’s own rule book: “We do not tolerate behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice.”
Trump was certainly violating the rules back then — and he’s been doing so ever since.
And now we know where the social-media titans draw the line, at least for Trump: Fomenting a violent (and deadly) insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The fact that he'll be out of the White House and somewhat toothless in a couple of weeks likely factored into their courageous decisions.
So much for speaking truth to power.