Fact Check

Does Trump's Twitter Ban Mean His Tweets Won't Be Archived on Twitter?

Historically, the National Archives and Records Administration operates Twitter accounts that formerly belonged to members of the executive branch. Trump's ban complicates things.

Published Apr 8, 2021

09 January 2021, Saxony-Anhalt, Magdeburg: US President Donald Trump's suspended Twitter account is seen on a mobile phone. The short message service had announced that Trump's account @realDonaldTrump would remain permanently blocked. The reason was the "risk of further incitement to violence" after the storming of the Capitol in Washington by Trump supporters.(posed scene) Photo: Stephan Schulz/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Stephan Schulz/picture alliance via Getty Images) (Stephan Schulz/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Image Via Stephan Schulz/picture alliance via Getty Images
Donald Trump's Twitter ban means the National Archives and Records Administration will be unable to maintain, on Twitter, an archived version of tweets issued from the @realdonaldtrump account.

While the @realdonaldtrump Twitter account remains archived and preserved in myriad digital locations, the official National Archives and Records Administration practice of maintaining an archive account of Donald Trump's personal Twitter on that platform won't be possible under Twitter's rules.

Since 2017, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has taken control of government twitter accounts associated with past administrations at the end of their terms. For example, the White House Twitter account (@WhiteHouse) used during President Barack Obama's time in office is maintained by NARA on Twitter with the handle @WhiteHouse44. The White House Twitter account during President Donald Trump's time in office is similarly maintained by NARA on Twitter under @WhiteHouse45.

As stated on NARA's Donald J. Trump Presidential Library website, the office also maintains, or plans to maintain, archives of individual accounts associated with the Trump Administration.

"A number of Trump administration officials, including President Trump, used personal accounts when conducting government business," the website reads. "The National Archives will make the social media content from those designated accounts publicly available as soon as possible."

In terms of Trump's personal account, @realdonaldtrump, which was permanently banned for incitement of violence following the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, Twitter told Politico that it won't allow an archived version of those tweets to appear on their platform:

“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,” Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy said in an email. “Administration accounts that are archived on the service are accounts that were not in violation of the Twitter Rules.”

Regardless of Twitter's ban, NARA says it will still maintain an archive of tweets sent by Trump's personal account, and several websites presently exist that provide a record not only of all of Trump's tweets, but all of the deleted ones as well.

Because Twitter has said they will not allow NARA to maintain an archived version of @realdonaldtrump on their platform, the claim is "True."

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.

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