(PresidentialInsider.com)- Not only did Twitter block former President Donald Trump from posting on its social media platform, they are also banning the National Archives from including his past tweets.
On Wednesday, Twitter confirmed to Politico that past tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account would not be made available to the National Archives.
The National Archives and Records Administration has been trying to create the official online archive of all of the former president’s tweets he sent while he was in the White House. NARA maintains archives for the personal and institutional accounts of other officials within the Trump administration already.
But, Twitter says it won’t give NARA access to Trump’s account, since he was banned.
This is yet another example of how Twitter is leveraging its power to shape history. If anyone still has a question about whether Big Tech companies have too much power over public opinion and free speech, this should be an alarming reason to question it.
The decision by Twitter is likely to face many questions on Capitol Hill, and it should face questions from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.
Earlier this week, Clarence Thomas, one of the Supreme Court justices, wrote a 12-page opinion that said technology has placed “control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties.” Thomas even suggested that Congress might need to step up and do something about it.
James Pritchett, a spokesperson for NARA, said the National Archives “is still exploring the best way” to make the archival content from the @realDonaldTrump account public. Ultimately, though, he said NARA would defer to Twitter on whether the archive should be visible on the social media site.
Pritchett did say they would preserve the tweets by posting them to the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library website.
Trenton Kennedy, a spokesperson for Twitter, said they “are working with NARA on the preservation of” @realDonaldTrump’s tweets, “as is standard with any administration transition.”
Still, the company is insisting that Trump’s tweets don’t appear in its platform in any manner. They permanently banned the former president in January because they said he glorified violence during and after the attacks on the U.S. Capitol building. They had previously put warning labels on a number of Trump’s tweets, and even blocked him for a temporary time before banning him permanently.
As Kennedy wrote in an email to Politico:
“Given that we permanently suspended @realDonaldTrump, the content from the account will not appear on Twitter as it did previously or as archived administration accounts do currently, regardless of how NARA decides to display the data it has preserved. Administration accounts that are archived on the service are accounts that were not in violation of the Twitter Rules.”
It’s something Pritchett admitted his administration has no control over when he said:
“Twitter is solely responsible for the decision of what content is available on their platform. NARA works closely with Twitter and other social media platforms to maintain archived social accounts from each presidential administration, but ultimately, the platform owners can decline to host those accounts.
“NARA preserves platform independent copies of social media records and is working to make that content available to the public.”