The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), collects and maintains Twitter archives of several Trump administration officials and administrators. Their tweets are collected and made available on the platform for archival and historical purposes.
NARA wanted to collect the tweets made by the former American President Donald Trump during his tenure as the president to make them available on their Twitter handle.
The social media network, however, disallowed NARA from doing so and said that the former president’s tweets cannot be made available on the platform. It is worth noting that Twitter has suspended Trump permanently.
Many are now calling Twitter’s decision against having archives of Trump’s tweet on NARA’s account, an apt example of Silicon Valley’s unprecedented control over online information and communication channels used by the US government.
Even the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently wrote a 12-page long opinion about how platforms such as Twitter were controlling speech.
“Today’s digital platforms provide avenues for historically unprecedented amounts of speech, including speech by government actors. Also unprecedented, however, is control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties. “We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms,” wrote Thomas.
NARA said that it was going to add the tweets’ archive of Donald Trump to the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library website, regardless of whether the archive would be made available on Twitter.
Trenton Kennedy, a spokesperson from Twitter, said that the content from @realDonaldTrump was in no way going to reappear on Twitter as his account had already been suspended for repeated violations of the platform’s rules. “Administration accounts that are archived on the service are accounts that were not in violation of the Twitter Rules,” added Kennedy.
NARA’s spokesperson, James Pritchett said that they were “exploring the best way” to make the archived content of Trump’s tweets public and that federal archivists are “working to make the exported content available… as a download” on the library website which we mentioned earlier. He also said that NARA’s records will have all tweets that were ever shared or posted by the former president, regardless of whether they were banned or not.
“NARA intends to provide public access to all captured and preserved Presidential Record social media, including any blocked or deleted Tweets that have been transferred to us,” said Pritchett.