Michael Stipe has criticised the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, over his failure to not suspend the account of former US President Donald Trump sooner.
Speaking to The Guardian, the former R.E.M. frontman said it was “upsetting” that Trump’s account wasn’t suspended earlier.
Last year, towards the end of Trump’s presidency, he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram over fears his posts could incite further violence following the storming of Capitol Hill.
Stipe said: “It’s so upsetting to me that it took the end of the years of Trump as president for Twitter and Jack Dorsey to finally decide that Trump had said something that was offensive on Twitter, and [his account] needed to be suspended.”
He continued: “That platform allowed Trump a voice that put wind under his sails, and allowed for the type of disgusting behaviour that earmarks those years…”
He also went on to criticise the social media’s platform’s role in ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
He continued: “[It] allowed a pandemic to run ravage across our country and across the world. It’s an embarrassing and horrifying chapter of our history. This stupid male idea of power, it’s so dumb.
“It’s saddo and dumdum. We’re on a second-grade level here: Saddo and Dumdum. We’re better than this. Americans, you know, we’re particularly good at showing our asses publicly. But when I say we, I mean all of us. We’re better than this.”
Trump’s permanent Twitter ban came after the social media platform requested that he remove three posts which contained “severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy.” While Trump complied with the request, Twitter drew attention to two subsequent tweets as grounds for removing the President from the platform permanently.
The first of the two tweets in question, both published on January 8, stated: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
The departing President followed this tweet up with another, saying that “to all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
In a statement, the social media platform said the two tweets were “likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021” before banning Trump’s account.