The contentious tweets of former President Donald Trump have largely been wiped away now that he’s permanently banned from Twitter. Unfortunately, the National Archives won’t be able to restore his deleted messages either, so they will be gone for good.
Twitter had previously said it would keep Trump’s tweets archived but warned that the company could not allow him to use its platform due to the risk of violence his speeches had caused. Consequently, it decided permanently suspend his account on January 8, 2021 and delete all of his 77,000+ tweets after he left office this month.
Archivists with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) quickly moved to preserve copies of over 370 thousand deleted tweets and thousands of other records from Trump’s presidency. However, Twitter has told them that it cannot provide all the screenshots taken by NARA as it is impossible for them to “restore user content from particular points in time.” As a result, most if not all of the content unavailable due to this issue will remain lost forever.
National Archives can’t resurrect Trump’s tweets, Twitter says
On Wednesday, the National Archives and Records Administration requested a copy of former President Donald Trump’s tweets, to preserve a record of his time in office. However, according to Twitter, those tweets are gone for good and the company has no way to resurrect them.
Let’s look at what the National Archives will do next.
What the National Archives Requested
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) sent a letter to Twitter on December 30, 2020 requesting to keep records of former President Donald Trump’s Tweets. NARA wanted to ensure preservation of the historic records created on the platform by the former president, including deleting tweets and blocking people for political expression.
The request included any records of communications between Twitter representatives and Trump-related personnel regarding any possible change in the platform’s use throughout his time as president, along with tweets that were deleted or generated through direct messages before January 20th at midnight EST.
NARA is charged with preserving such records from presidential administrations so that they can be accessed by historians, researchers, and citizens for years to come. Given its importance for future generations, NARA must continue to push for transparency surrounding Trump’s tweets and communication on social media platforms during his tenure as President of the United States.
After U.S. President Donald Trump was permanently banned from Twitter, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) requested access to the former president’s deleted tweets for preserving under the Presidential Records Act. However, Twitter denied NARA’s request because it has no technical ability to provide NARA with all of President Trump’s tweets, including deleted tweets and ones that were removed as a violation of Twitter Rules.
In a public statement on January 14th, 2021, Twitter explained why it cannot provide President Trump’s account history. The company said that for them to archive content for research purposes, it requires the post to be publicly available before archiving takes place – meaning that this includes only active and available posts on the service at the time of archiving. As many of President Trump’s posts were removed, or taken down due to violations of Twitter policies during his presidency, Twitter explained that they are “unable to provide any tweeted media as part of our response to this particular request.”
Despite not having access to all requested information from NARA, a spokesperson from Twitter said that they remain committed to working with government entities (including federal bodies like archives) and providing additional archival functionality when possible. This statement means that although requests such as those directed towards NARA may remain unable to be fulfilled at this time due to technical difficulties – other agency requests applicable will be addressed depending on availability within archived data sets.
Deleting former President Donald Trump’s tweets has raised numerous legal questions and been met with widespread criticism. From the perspective of government archives and records, it raises questions regarding their long-term preservation and whether they should be preserved in any form to protect the historical record.
Understanding the legal implications of Trump’s tweets being deleted can help us understand the implications of using social media as an official communication platform by government officials.
What the Law Says
Any social media or government-controlled communications are subject to statutory and common law rules regarding records preservation. This includes all communications by any federal agency officials, including senior-level appointees and the President of the United States.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent federal agency responsible for preserving records of historical value that serve as evidence of the actions of those in authority in the U.S. government. To ensure the integrity of these records, NARA has established legal requirements to govern the management, storage and archiving of records created by government officials. Title 44 U.S. Code outlines these guidelines, which require that all federal agencies “create a file containing all permanent historical records relating to their work” as well as “keep a record of current values until they are filed away with a permanent archive office or destroyed following legally authorized methods”
Unfortunately, in this case, the Trump administration may have failed to follow NARA’s guidelines relating to preserving official record communications created by high-ranking members of its organization — namely former president Trump himself. Twitter’s statement clarifies that certain tweets were never stored directly with a NARA archiving system (perhaps due to human error) and thus cannot be restored from a backed-up copy stored online or on paper media. As with many other forms of digital communication (including email), once such tweets have been removed from their original platform, they are lost for good without appropriate backups being taken beforehand as part of general protocol for electronic archiving procedures dictated by NARA regulations concerning presidential record keeping obligations and restrictions imposed under US law according to standards specified under 44 U.SC §§ 2101 et seq..
Implications of the National Archives Request
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) requested that Twitter preserve records related to the 45th President Donald Trump this past month. After being contacted by NARA, Twitter stated that once a user voluntarily deleted the content, there is “no way” for them to retrieve such content from its systems.
While the National Archives is ultimately responsible for preserving government records, the implications here highlight a newfound tension between government and private entities, where private social media platforms now need to consider their larger roles in preserving records of public officials who use said platforms. As individuals become more tech-savvy in their communications and other activities, these clashes between agency mandate and private sector operational policies only become more frequent.
The future may call for clearer policy from both parties on how existing accounts should be handled when they transition out of the office they’re holding at present. To avoid conflicts like this in the future with other administrations, agencies may have to set clear guidelines ahead of time regarding archiving messages or tweets sent by certain accounts—especially those specifically related to government offices.
Impact of the Removal of Trump’s Tweets
The removal of President Donald Trump’s tweets from Twitter has caused much controversy – with some believing it was an attack on free speech and others seeing it as a necessary step. Now, the National Archives has stated that it cannot bring back these tweets, raising questions about the impact of their removal and the implications for society.
Let’s dive into discussing how the removal of Trump’s tweets will affect the wider public.
Impact on Trump’s Legacy
The removal of President Trump’s tweets is a complex issue with serious and lasting implications for the future. On January 8th, 2021, all @realDonaldTrump tweets were permanently removed from Twitter as part of an effort by the company to hold all users to the same standards. Although the tweets are no longer available on Twitter, their long-term impact on Trump’s legacy remains to be seen.
It is likely that Trump’s tweets will remain accessible in some form or another. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has ensured an archive of all past presidential documents, including statements taken from social media accounts. As such, most of Trump’s controversial and incendiary tweets can still be accessed by the public via the National Archive website. For now, industry experts claim his content is safe with NARA but believe that the impact on the memory of President Donald Trump’s involvement with social media will be much greater if left unreviewed and unchecked by independent researchers.
An individual’s online presence can often have a lasting effect even after they leave office; therefore, it is important for individuals in prominent positions or those running for office to use social media platforms carefully so their messages accurately reflect their legacy. Those who choose not to consider this could face possible future reputational damage associated with a thoughtless or insensitive tweet. In fact, President Biden has already taken steps to limit his exposure while campaigning and in office; he refuses to use personal social media accounts other than professional ones such as his @POTUS account.
Impact on Social Media
The permanent deletion of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets due to violations of Twitter’s terms of service raises some important questions about the lasting impact it will have on the social media landscape.
The implications are far-reaching, especially since tweets are typically only deleted when their content is considered to violate Twitter’s rules and policies. With these digital artifacts now removed from public view, this situation highlights for many people how vulnerable our words and digital communications can be — and that even an account from a former world leader isn’t safe from deletion.
This incident also serves as a sobering reminder that our online words may live on indefinitely — and could be used against us if we’re not careful about what we say or post. As President Trump’s tweets serve as a cautionary tale, this situation reinforces the ability for social media platforms to move quickly to censor or delete content they deem offensive or inappropriate, regardless of who has posted it.
Though Twitter was reportedly very mindful in its decision to comply with U.S National Archives in deleting President Trump’s tweets, this episode calls into question whether other influential accounts could face similar repercussions if they violate platform guidelines in the future — regardless of their public position and audience reach across different types of media channels.
Impact on Political Discourse
Deleting former President Trump’s controversial tweets has sparked a debate over freedom of expression, censorship and political discourse on social media. Supporters of the removal argue that such rhetoric is damaging to democracy, while opponents charge that the action is a violation of their right to free speech.
The lack of evidence to back up or refute these claims further contributes to this controversy and presents further ramifications for individuals seeking to have their voices heard. Without access to all the previously publicly available information, it opens new doors for misinformation and allows propaganda machines more opportunities to shape individual political beliefs.
Furthermore, there may be unintended implications regarding transparency and accountability due to this deletion if comments and claims made by public figures including politicians are allowed to be unverifiable or disappear instantly. Thus, social media companies must find secure ways that accommodate both fair moderation and transparency when dealing with controversial topics such as those on which Donald Trump shared his views in the past.
Ultimately, it appears that Trump’s tweets are gone for good after being permanently deleted upon the end of his tenure as President. Though various efforts have been made to restore them, including by the National Archives, Twitter cannot revive them from their deletion. Thus, Trump’s tweets will remain permanently unavailable for public view due to his inability to use their service moving forward.
As a result, the broader public will be deprived of a significant source of records from one of the most important presidencies in recent history.