It is an ignominious end to what has been a rather turbulent, yet historic Presidency. With less than two weeks left for his tenure to end, US President Donald Trump has been cut off from access to most of his social media accounts. On Twitter his account has been "suspended" and on Facebook and Instagram, he remains 'indefinitely' banned. And even as many rejoice, others including fellow Republican leaders have hit out at the big tech firms.
Perhaps the most vocal critics have been members of Trump's family - with his son Donald Trump Junior even wondering why dictatorial regimes continued to find representation on Twitter even as his father was booted out. "So the Ayatollah, and numerous other dictatorial regimes can have Twitter accounts with no issue despite threatening genocide to entire countries and killing homosexuals etc... but The President of the United States should be permanently suspended. Mao would be proud," he tweeted.
Over the last few days, Trump's family has come out en masse to defend him or to comment on current events. However, their efforts have proved somewhat problematic. In a now deleted tweet Ivanka Trump had urged "American patriots" to remain non-violent.
"American Patriots - any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable," she had tweeted. Called out by another user, she clarified that while peaceful protest was patriotic, violence was "unacceptable".
And Eric Trump has been facing flak after he tweeted out his delight at having hundreds of thousands of right-wing pro-Trump protesters sing "Happy Birthday" to him on the National Mall. He posted a photo marking the occasion - a tweet that remains on his handle.
Needless to say, many are baffled by the latest post, wondering if Don Jr. had been drawing a parallel between Trump and the leaders of "dictatorial regimes". But the Ayatollah references are not limited to this one post.
In a tweeted diatribe against big tech companies, Senator Lindsey Graham said that he was willing to risk being banned by Twitter to air his opinion that the action against Trump was a "serious mistake".
"The Ayatollah can tweet, but Trump can’t. Says a lot about the people who run Twitter," he tweeted.