Twitter: We've locked Trump out for 12 hours over "repeated and severe violations"; Update: Facebook too

Don’t expect to get a reaction tonight from Donald Trump on … well, much of anything. The White House has already called a lid for tonight and sent the media home after the riot on Capitol Hill. Now Twitter has decided to do what his staff and his family couldn’t — take the phone out of his hands, at least for the next twelve hours.

Or maybe longer, if Trump doesn’t do some clean-up on his feed from today:

Not only will the account remain locked, but Twitter says it will permanently sideline its biggest draw if he doesn’t clean up his act:

This is a bit like locking the barn door after the horse has already bolted, but it’s what Twitter’s critics have long demanded too. It’s all part of the pressure that officeholders of both political parties have put on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms to crack down on misinformation and foreign interference in American elections. Ever since, Twitter and Facebook have acted like hall monitors more than free-speech advocates, attempting ludicrous fact-checks in real time before settling for “disputed” tags on tweets.

This was going to happen eventually, though. As soon as Trump left office, Twitter would have rapidly given him the boot. All they’re doing is getting a two-week head start on the process, which should be enough to get Trump transitioned back to the private sector. Twitter routinely locks people out of their accounts, or even entire newspapers, over insults to its interior sensibilities — but it has consistently made exceptions for world leaders, which is why we are still able to access the social thoughts of Ayatollah Ali Khameini.

Come to think of it, have they ever locked Khameini out of his account, even with his anti-Semitic drivel and threats against Israel? Yecch. 

The likely result of this will be that Trump uses Parler more than Twitter for his platform in the future. The problem for Trump is that the people he hopes to goad aren’t on Parler, and neither is the media that he’s attempting to leverage with his outrage. Twitter might lose its MAGA subscribers, but they were moving to Parler anyway. That will result in more lost business, and also — almost indisputably — less relevance for Twitter, too. Like it or not, Trump’s Twitter feed drives the news cycle, and that generates tons of earned media for Twitter.

Of course, Twitter will get Joe Biden in two weeks. The excitement of that transition has to be totally stoking subscriptionzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Update: Facebook has also now suspended Trump:

I’m not sure what kind of impact that will have on Trump’s ability to reach past the media. He’s used Twitter for that so exclusively that it seems like few people would have thought to look for his reactions on Facebook.