STATEMENT: Change the Terms Coalition Applauds Twitter for (Finally) Banning Trump
For Immediate Release: January 8, 2021
Contact: Claudia Montecinos
Washington, D.C. — Today, Twitter finally took the decisive action of permanently removing and banning President Donald Trump from the platform, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the tech giant said. Change the Terms has been pushing Twitter to take this step for the last several days and pressed the issue in a meeting with Twitter yesterday.
After the announcement, the Change the Terms Coalition issued the following statement:
Henry Fernandez, co-chair of the Change the Terms Coalition and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said: “Bravo to Twitter for doing the right thing. Trump is a clear and present danger to the United States and no company should provide a megaphone for his ongoing threat to our democracy. Now it is time for Google/YouTube and Facebook to follow suit and be no part of Trump’s coup attempt.”
Heidi Beirich, co-chair of the Change the Terms Coalition and co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, said: “Thanks to Twitter for being courageous about this and doing what was right. This week is only the most horrific example of the danger Trump has and still poses to American democracy and his Twitter megaphone enabled that. Tech companies for too long have allowed his extremism to fester and to inspire others to do harm. Google/YouTube need to step up to the plate now and follow Twitter’s lead. It’s outrageous they are still giving Trump a pass.”
Jessica J. González, co-chair of the Change the Terms Coalition and co-CEO of Free Press, said: “Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Donald Trump is a victory for racial-justice advocates who have long condemned his continued abuse of the platform. From the launch of his presidential campaign when he defamed Mexicans as rapists, criminals and drug dealers, to the desperate last gasps of his presidency as he has egged on white supremacists to commit violence and insurrection, Trump had used his Twitter account to incite violence, lie about the election outcome, encourage racists and spread conspiracy theories. He did not deserve a platform on Twitter, or on any other social or traditional media. Today’s news, while a day late and a dollar short, is welcome. I urge other social-media companies to follow suit immediately.”
Steven Renderos, Executive Director of Media Justice, said: “For years Donald Trump has been given a bullhorn to spew hate and racism at his more than 80 million followers on Twitter. His tweets have spread misinformation, dehumanized people, and incited violence. Following Trump’s action this past week, the permanent suspension of @realDonaldTrump was the only appropriate response. While overdue, we applaud Twitter for taking this action as Donald Trump will no longer be able to use this platform to cause harm. Now we look to other platforms including Facebook and YouTube to follow suit.”
Muslim Advocates, Media Relations Officer Eric Naing, said: “By permanently banning Trump’s account, Twitter is showing real leadership and is taking a significant step towards shutting off a major source of online hate and disinformation — as well as helping to prevent further white nationalist violence. Now one of the biggest online sources of dangerous, anti-Muslim hate and conspiracies is permanently gone. As Twitter notes, letting Trump continue to post tweets, Facebook posts and YouTube videos for his white nationalist supporters risks ‘further incitement of violence.’ Now it is up to Facebook and Google/YouTube to follow Twitter’s lead.”
Change the Terms is a coalition calling on Big Tech to institute and enforce service agreement prohibitions on hateful activities to protect public safety and respect diverse voices. The coalition includes more than 60 civil rights, human rights, technology policy and consumer protection organizations dedicated to encouraging social media sites, payment processors and chat services to commit to fair, effective and transparent rules and practices for content moderation.