Twitter has suspended a number of accounts set up specifically to share posts from former US President Donald Trump‘s new website.
The company said the accounts violated its policies around accounts designed to circulate content linked to accounts that had been taken down.
All the major social media platforms banned Mr Trump either permanently or temporarily in the wake of the Capitol Hill riot which caused the death of five people in January.
Twitter made the decision to remove Mr Trump permanently from its platform over the “risk of further incitement of violence,” saying that the ban will remain in place even if he were to run for office again.
In an effort to circumvent his reliance on the big tech companies he has long accused of favouring liberal causes, Mr Trump launched his own blog, hosting a series of brief posts criticising politicians and decrying the outcome of the 2020 US Presidential election, on Tuesday.
The new section of the 74-year old’s website, called From the Desk of Donald J Trump, contains posts seemingly from Mr Trump, criticising politicians, congratulating Republican causes and accusing the Democrats and Big Tech of colluding in last year’s Presidential election.
While visitors to Mr Trump’s site cannot directly comment or reply to the posts, they can share them directly to Facebook and Twitter.
The accounts suspended by Twitter appeared to ape a connection with Mr Trump’s site, including @DJTDesk, @DJTrumpDesk, @DeskofDJT and @DeskOfTrump1.
“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 said.
A spokesperson for Mr Trump told Sky News the suspended accounts were not connected to them.
Facebook’s independent oversight board announced it was upholding the company’s decision to restrict Mr Trump from using his Facebook or Instagram accounts on Wednesday, but said it was “not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension”.
Consequently, Mr Trump will remain suspended from the platforms, but Facebook must complete its review of this matter within six months of the date of this decision.
“If Facebook decides to restore Mr. Trump’s accounts, the company should apply its rules to that decision, including any changes made in response to the board’s policy recommendations below,” the board said in a statement.
“In this scenario, Facebook must address any further violations promptly and in accordance with its established content policies.”
Nick Clegg, former leader of the Liberal Democrats and now vice-president of global affairs and communications at Facebook, said the company believed its decision to suspend Mr Trump was “necessary and right”.
While the board did not compel Facebook to restore Mr Trump’s access to his accounts, it also did not specify how for long the suspension should continue, he pointed out.
“We will now consider the board’s decision and determine an action that is clear and proportionate. In the meantime, Mr Trump’s accounts remain suspended.”
Mr Trump took aim at social media giants in a post on the new site the same day, claiming they were “afraid of the truth” and that they had taken away his freedom of speech by preventing him from using their platforms.
“What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country [sic],” he wrote.
“Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever before.
“The People of our Country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price, and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our Electoral Process.”
Jason Miller, an adviser to the former President, said earlier this week that while Mr Trump’s website was a “great resource to find his latest statements and highlights from his first term in office,” details of a standalone social network would be announced “in the very near future”.
Mr Trump had been approached by numerous companies to discuss launching his own platform, Mr Miller had said in March, declaring the new service would be “the hottest ticket in social media”.
“Everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what exactly President Trump does, but it will be his own platform,” he added.