On January 8th, Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump, and proceeded to play whack-a-mole as he attempted to dodge that ban by using different Twitter accounts, each of which Twitter suspended in turn.
And yet less than a week later, a Trump video has been posted on the official @WhiteHouse account delivering a new video speech. The speech is not inflammatory — quite the opposite. It features Trump denouncing violence, lawbreaking, and vandalism.
It contains messages many might have hoped Trump would issue immediately during or perhaps even before the attack on the US Capitol, to avoid the violence and the five deaths that occurred.
Still, it’s very strange to see Trump’s face in a new Twitter video, considering such a video was one of the inciting incidents that got Trump kicked off the platform. Twitter initially removed that video due to a “risk of violence” before deciding it was too risky to allow Trump to retain an account at all... and yet he’s now able to publish a video speech to Twitter from a different account. When Twitter banned Trump, the company told us it would try to limit the use of even government accounts like @WhiteHouse if Trump tried to use them to evade his ban.
But Twitter told NBC reporter Dylan Byers that this doesn’t constitute a ban evasion at all.
“… demonstrably engage in ban evasion or share content that otherwise violates the Twitter Rules.” (2/2)— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) January 14, 2021
When we asked how this doesn’t count as ban evasion, Twitter declined to comment.