Was Michelle Obama behind Donald Trump's Twitter ban? Former FLOTUS asked big tech to 'stop enabling' him

The former first lady urged social media firms to permanently ban the president in order to ensure that their platform would never again be used 'to fuel insurrection'


                            Was Michelle Obama behind Donald Trump's Twitter ban? Former FLOTUS asked big tech to 'stop enabling' him
Michelle Obama and Donald Trump (Getty Images)

When hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol building on January 6, they started what was going to go down in the history of the country as a stain on democracy. Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama was not just going to sit idle after people started a riot over Trump's unestablished claims of election fraud. She called on big tech firms such as Twitter and Facebook to "stop enabling" Trump after the riots, which killed five people including one cop. 

This week, the former first lady took it upon herself to urge social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook to permanently ban the president in order to ensure that their platform would never again be used "to fuel insurrection". "Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms," Obama wrote in a statement on January 7.

Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks to guests at the Obama Foundation Summit at Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois (Getty Images)

At first, both Twitter and Facebook had announced a temporary suspension of Trump's accounts, with the microblogging site putting him on hold for 12-hours. But evidently, that was not enough and Michelle pressed for more stringent action. At the same time, she urged companies to install new safeguards "to prevent their technology from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection".

In the same statement, Michelle slammed MAGA fans who went out of their way to harm not only a monument of US democracy but also fellow Americans. She called them a "gang" and deemed Trump an "infantile and unpatriotic president". Referring to Trump she said that the day of the riot "was the fulfilment of the wishes of an infantile and unpatriotic president who can't handle the truth of his own failures". 

Obama took to Twitter to share her statement. "Like all of you, I’ve been feeling so many emotions since yesterday. I tried to put my thoughts down here," she wrote attaching two pages worth of her reaction.



 

In her statement, Michelle also laid to rest the constant comparisons made between MAGA fans and supporters of Black Lives Matter. "This summer’s Black Lives Matter protests were an overwhelmingly peaceful movement… And yet, in city after city, day after day, we saw peaceful protesters met with brute force. In contrast, those who ‘desecrated the centre of American government’ this week; were led out of the building, not in handcuffs, but free to carry on with their days," she wrote.

Trump had addressed his tweets to the rioters and even urged them to go home, adding that he knows their "pain" and that "these are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away". Twitter removed these tweets. Facebook too was going to follow the lead as founder Mark Zuckerberg said on January 7 that Trump would be banned from both Facebook and Instagram until at least after the election following his failure to "condemn the actions of his supporters".

Just before he was banned, Trump said he would consider using other social media platforms or even create his own platform. "As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech," Trump wrote after his ban from the site, in a now-deleted tweet from the @Potus account. "And tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform, to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me," he continued.

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