Donald Trump's exclusivity clause could impose legal block on Twitter return

An exclusivity clause prevents Mr Trump from posting on rival platforms for at least six hours after posting on Truth Social

Published

Former US President Donald Trump is under legal obligation to post on his own social network - Truth Social - before sharing posts on rival platforms.

This comes following speculation that the 45th President will return to Twitter, after Elon Musk - who had a $44bn (£36bn) offer accepted to buy the social network - paved the way for Trump to have his account reinstated.

Mr Trump was banned from Twitter "due to the risk of further incitement of violence", in the aftermath of the Capitol Hill riots.

Former US President Donald Trump
Former US President Donald Trump
Elon Musk looks at his mobile phone in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Elon Musk looks at his mobile phone in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

His account had already been temporarily suspended earlier that week for breaching the same rules in relation to more tweets praising those who stormed the Capitol and came after large numbers of his posts were hidden behind warning labels for breaching Twitter rules around misinformation relating to the US election.

After he returned, Mr Trump tweeted twice more, saying that he would not be attending the inauguration of now-US President Joe Biden as president and referred to his supporters as “American Patriots”, saying they will have “a giant voice long into the future”.

Twitter said the refusal to attend the inauguration was being received by Mr Trump’s supporters as “further confirmation that the election was not legitimate” and him disavowing his previous claim there would be an “orderly transition”.

It said the tweet referencing the inauguration may also “serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the inauguration would be a ‘safe’ target, as he will not be attending”.

As a result and, after reviewing those tweets, the platform said it was permanently banning Mr Trump “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”.

The permanent ban quickly extended to other platforms, including Facebook.

Mr Trump's exclusivity clause with Truth Social limits him from posting to alternative social media sites for a minimum of six hours after posting to his platform.

However, these restrictions do not apply to political campaigning, meaning Mr Trump may be able to use Twitter as the social media cornerstone of his 2024 presidential bid.