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Trump to face stricter Twitter rules post-presidency

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE’s tweets will face harsher scrutiny from Twitter when he leaves office, losing protections the platform grants to world leaders.

The tech behemoth treats violations of its policies from presidents and prime ministers differently from those of regular users, arguing the public should be able to see what their leaders are saying and that such posts are newsworthy in and of themselves.

But that protection does not extend to leaders once they leave office, meaning Trump’s preferred mode of communication could be restricted in ways he’s been able to avoid for the past four years.

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The Associated Press and all the major news networks called the presidential race for Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Obama: Republican Party members believe 'white males are victims' MORE on Saturday morning, putting a Jan. 20 deadline on Twitter protections for Trump's tweets.

Twitter has been loath to delete any of Trump’s tweets while in office, instead opting to flag to users that his controversial posts may contain misleading or false information and restrict users’ ability to retweet and like them.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that the president's Twitter account would be treated like any other when he leaves office.

"Twitter’s approach to world leaders, candidates and public officials is based on the principle that people should be able to choose to see what their leaders are saying with clear context. This means that we may apply warnings and labels, and limit engagement to certain Tweets," the spokesperson said. "This policy framework applies to current world leaders and candidates for office, and not private citizens when they no longer hold these positions."

Specifically, that means Trump’s tweets could be deleted if they break the platform’s rules, and that he could accumulate “strikes” for repeated policy violations, which would worsen punishments from the platform.

The president has wielded his Twitter feed as one of the world’s largest megaphones since he began his presidential campaign in 2015, using it to announce major policy and personnel changes and roil Washington and world markets.

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His activity on the social media platform has come under an avalanche of scrutiny since Election Day earlier this week, as he has railed against vote tallies in key states and made unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and other misconduct at polling places.

Those tweets prompted led to warnings on his Twitter feed, with the company posting labels that read, “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”

Users can still choose to pass through those warnings and view the messages, though they can’t directly retweet or like them.

Twitter, too, has come under a national microscope over how it handles Trump’s tweets, facing a barrage of criticism from Democrats that it has been too lax on his posts throughout his first term.

Updated at 12:55 p.m.