Twitter has confirmed that following President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next month, President Donald Trump will no longer receive the special protections he currently enjoys on the platform, and could in fact be banned.
As a world leader, Trump currently enjoys the same protections as his counterparts all over the world — some of whom, like Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, have flagrantly violated the platform’s terms and conditions with calls for violence against Israel.
Twitter policy currently states that, for world leaders, “if a Tweet from a world leader does violate the Twitter Rules but there is a clear public interest value to keeping the Tweet on the service, we may place it behind a notice that provides context about the violation and allows people to click through should they wish to see the content.”
According to Twitter, when Trump becomes a private citizen on January 20, he will lose these protections and will therefore be exposed to the same strict moderation applied to the rest of the platform’s users, including verified accounts. A Twitter spokesperson told Forbes last Thursday that the company does not have any “special rules” in dealing with Trump, and insists he has been treated like anyone else.
As part of Twitter’s new “misinformation policy,” implemented shortly before the 2020 US election in November, Trump has faced more scrutiny than any other world leader on the platform. The president has seen most of his posts flagged with warnings that dispute his claims and, in some cases, prevent other users from sharing or liking his remarks.
According to the Independent, Trump could be banned if he continues to tweet “conspiracy theories,” such as alleging that he lost the presidential election through widespread fraud.
The Daily Wire reports that Twitter will hand control of the official government-owned @POTUS account to Joe Biden on January 20, 2021, regardless of whether Trump officially concedes to Biden.