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USF associate professor reacts to President Trumps Twitter account being permanently suspended

Donald Trump
Posted at 10:30 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 22:30:26-05

TAMPA, FLA.- President Donald Trump may no longer use Twitter to communicate with his nearly 90 million followers.

Twitter said, "After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence."

"I never actually thought the social media platforms would do this to the President," said Dr. Joshua Scacco, an associate professor with the University of South Florida.

Dr. Joshua Scacco teaches Political Communication at the University of Florida. He is also writing a book titled, “The Ubiquitous Presidency: Presidential Communication and Digital Democracy in Tumultuous Times." It is due out in March.

"Tracking the trajectory all the way back to Reagan, but with a critical focus looking at Barack Obama and Donald Trump and the ways in which both of them used emerging technology and social media to reach the American public," said Dr. Scacco.

Dr. Scacco said Twitter was at the heart of Donald Trump's presidency. He used it to reach supporters and opponents.

"He has engaged his supporters and people who listen to him to engage in the political process not necessarily all the time in a pro-democracy ends. He's done it in ways that would assist him in either gaining power or keeping power," he said.

Trump was locked out of his account earlier this week for 12 hours after a violent group stormed the U.S. Capitol and destroyed property. Five people died including a Capitol Police officer.

"Where Twitter was used and other social media platforms were used to coordinate individuals to come to Washington, D.C. for a rally, protest for the election results," said Dr. Scacco.

"The President has continually violated the user agreements that Twitter users should read, but don't read when they sign up for the platform," he added.

Judge Public Relations sent ABC Action News a statement reacting to the President Trump's removal from Twitter.

It reads in part, "The recent actions of technology companies to censor individuals is not only dangerous, it should be strictly prohibited. These are no longer just private companies. Twitter and Facebook have become necessary modern marketplaces and public squares. They've also become communications mediums, as important as the U.S. Postal Service and the telephone once were."