Twitter permanently banned Trump for glorifying violence, and they should ban top Trump activist Brandon Straka for the same
Lead Trump supporter Brandon Straka tweeted an open call this past Wednesday for the “patriots” illegally occupying the US Capitol Building in a deadly coup attempt to “Hold. The. Line."
UPDATE: Brandon Straka has been arrested for his alleged role in inciting the insurrection.
UPDATE: Twitter just permanently banned Donald Trump’s personal account for posting tweets that “glorify violence.” Twitter corporate explained:
We assessed the two Tweets referenced above under our Glorification of Violence policy, which aims to prevent the glorification of violence that could inspire others to replicate violent acts and determined that they were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
In view of this explicit policy to ban accounts that could inspire others to violence, how can Twitter not now ban the account of pro-Trump activist Brandon Straka, who urged the rioters to continue occupying the US Capitol building on Wednesday? Read on.
Lead Trump supporter Brandon Straka, who heads up the “Walk Away” movement — a campaign calling on Democrats to “walk away” from the Democratic party — tweeted an open call this past Wednesday for the “patriots” illegally occupying the US Capitol Building in a deadly coup attempt to “Hold. The. Line.”
Straka’s tweet urging the illegal, and deadly, behavior to continue — sent to his 650,000 followers — came at 5:33 pm on Wednesday, January 6, several hours after the violent takeover of the Capitol building began. The insurgents were streaming live video of their attack. It was on every news network worldwide. Straka was surely aware that he was calling for the continuation of what was clearly a violent criminal act.
Glorification of violence is a violation of Twitter’s rules.
It is also a violation of Twitter’s rules to promote terrorist activity.
And while I was unable to find a clear Twitter rule against promoting criminal activity generally, this rule is a possibility: “You may not use our service for any unlawful purpose or in furtherance of illegal activities.”
While it may be unclear if Straka’s tweet is advocating violence, he is calling the domestic terrorists “patriots,” and urging the continuance of their occupation of the US Capitol building, a terrorist act which is clearly criminal and violent.
Straka — who holds a Twitter blue checkmark, a prized recognition granted to a minority of Twitter subscribers — revealed today that Facebook has now banned his “Walk Away” movement entirely:
In other less incendiary tweets, Straka calls the attack on the Capitol an organizing “opportunity” for Trump supporters:
Straka also cast doubt on the fact that a Capitol Hill police officer was injured by the mob that took over the Congress. In fact, that officer, 42-year-old Brian D. Sicknick, has now died as a result of his injuries. Rioters reportedly hit Officer Sicknick in the head with a fire extinguisher; he later collapsed and died:
That last tweet is interesting from a law enforcement perspective, as it calls into question whether Straka means he was “inside” the Capitol, or simply on the grounds outside. If Straka were outside, how would he know what did or didn’t take place inside the building, where the fire extinguishers were, and where Officer Sicknick was reportedly attacked? And if Straka is admitting that he was inside with the mob, then he is confessing to a crime.
In another tweet Wednesday night, Straka again seems to openly endorse the violent and illegal takeover of the US Capitol Building after the fact:
And while those tweets are troubling, the biggest problem is Straka’s tweet openly calling for the domestic terrorists who were violently occupying the US Capitol building to continue their illegal attempt at a coup.
Will Jack Dorsey and Twitter follow Facebook’s lead, and enforce their rules, and ban Brandon Straka and his movement entirely?