Twitter suspends accounts skirting Trump ban
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Twitter on Thursday confirmed that it pulled the plug on several accounts trying to skirt its ban on former president Donald Trump by promoting his blog posts.
The ex-president launched a page on his website earlier this week promising comment "straight from the desk of Donald J Trump."
The page was made public just before Facebook's independent oversight board on Wednesday upheld the platform's ban on Trump. Twitter accounts with names playing on Trump themes and seeking to amplify the Trump website posts were taken offline, according to the platform.
"As stated in our ban evasion policy, we'll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account," a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.
Twitter said it permanently suspended Trump's account after the deadly January 6 Capitol riot because there was a risk he would further incite violence, following months of tweets disputing Joe Biden's presidential election victory.
False and misleading claims about American politics have plummeted, a trend for which Twitter and Facebook are keen to take credit. With Trump muted, Biden less engaged on social media, and no election cycle underway, Americans are now living in a different media ecosystem.
"The single most important thing was de-platforming Donald Trump," said Russell Muirhead, a Dartmouth University professor and co-author of "A Lot of People Are Saying," a book whose title plays on one of Trump's most popular sayings, used when promoting unproven theories.
"It has removed a daily blizzard of misinformation from the ecosystem," Muirhead told AFP. "Not being bombarded is helping people's misinformation immune systems to reset themselves and recover."
Social media was long Trump's weapon of choice, letting him fire off comments without having to explain or back claims.