KEY POINTS

  • Twitter announced Friday that it is permanently suspending President Donald Trump's personal account 
  • Social media users criticized Twitter over the action, claiming it restricts free speech and exposes a threat posed by Big Tech
  • Lawyers, however, said Twitter's ban didn’t violate Trump’s rights

While President Donald Trump's social media eviction was celebrated online over the weekend, some netizens are not happy with Twitter permanently suspending his account, accusing the platform of silencing free speech.

On Friday, Twitter announced that it had decided to permanently suspend Trump’s account, which had 88 million followers, over concerns that his posts would incite further violence following Wednesday's Capitol riot. The move drew criticism from some social media users, who aired their concerns over platforms allegedly violating Trump's right to free speech and potentially doing the same to other users.

"If Twitter blocks everybody they disagree with, where is the freedom of speech? I disagree that they banned Donald Trump. All speech should be allowed," one tweeted.

"I am not a @realDonaldTrump supporter, but Twitter's explanation for banning him should scare anyone who values #freespeech. If they will ban someone because they think fringe wackos might read something between the lines, then anyone can be banned," a second user wrote.

"I don't agree with much of what Donald Trump voiced on #twitter or in fact his presidency – but to remove and cancel his account is a travesty and a backward step for allowing #FreeSpeech . #darkday #DonaldTrump," David Stretton-Downes wrote.

"All the Democrats who are cheering on Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey for censoring Donald Trump - you're so stupid. This was never about Donald Trump. If you think they won't come after you next, you really are deluded," another person tweeted.

One user said Twitter's decision to permanently ban Trump was "foolish," adding that it will "backfire."

Meanwhile, other Twitter users claimed the move may have exposed the potential threats posed by "Big Tech" companies.

"Donald Trump's legacy will be his exposure of the threat posed by Big Tech to democracy. Information technology is evolving into information control," Steve Williams wrote.

Twitter's ban came after Trump tweeted Friday two messages which indicated that he does not plan to attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20. The social media company said the tweets were "in violation" of its glorification of violence policy. 

Despite the criticism surrounding the social media platform's action, First Amendment lawyers who spoke to The Philadelphia Inquirer said Twitter's ban didn’t violate Trump’s rights as it is a private company and the Constitution protects against government action censoring a citizen’s speech.

Jeremy Mishkin, a lawyer who practices First Amendment law, said this does not apply if Twitter "decides it is not going to participate in disseminating someone else’s message."

US President Donald Trump faces a possible fast-tracked effort to remove him from in closing days of his term President Donald Trump faces a possible fast-tracked effort to remove him from in closing days of his term. Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski