Donald Trump Should Be Banned From Twitter. His Abusive, Incendiary, Racist Tweets Grossly Violate Twitter's Terms of Service.
August 18, 2019
MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH
On August 16 one-time Trump communications director and former Trump fluffer (now turned critic), Anthony Scaramucci, was locked out of his Twitter account for apparently fat-shaming Trump:
As noted above, Scaramucci told Jonathan Swan of Avios, ““I should have said he is the largest proportioned President since William Howard Taft.” Indeed, Twitter is known to be quite the enforcer of any bullying, shaming, hate speech and violent rhetoric, among other standards.
Indeed, according to Twitter’s terms of service, Donald Trump should be banned from the message platform that reaches round the world on several accounts. As the summary of “The Twitter Rules” state:
Twitter's purpose is to serve the public conversation. Violence, harassment and other similar types of behavior discourage people from expressing themselves, and ultimately diminish the value of global public conversation. Our rules are to ensure all people can participate in the public conversation freely and safely.
That certainly sounds like it applies to Trump, specifically these two Twitter standards (and there are other violations Trump engages in, particularly with his retweets that he incredulously denies responsiblity for):
Abuse/harassment: You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so.
Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.
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Indeed, yesterday, the mayor of Portland Oregon chastised Trump for an incendiary tweet that blamed, in advance, leftist protesters for any violence that might occur during an alt-right rally:
According to The Guardian:
Speaking to CNN, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said of Trump’s tweet: “Frankly, it’s not helpful. This is a potentially dangerous and volatile situation, and adding to that noise doesn’t do anything to support or help the efforts that are going on here in Portland.”
Those three fusillades alone would be enough to get any other Twitter user suspended, if not blocked. Considering that Trump’s often blistering and bullying tweets go round the world, considering that his gross violations of both the violence/harassment and hateful conduct standards — on an unrelenting basis— Trump poses a far greater danger than the average Twitter user. In essence, Twitter has been Trump’s megaphone for vile and odious hatred, mocking and divisiveness, with the mainstream corporate media amplifying every sordid tweet.
Furthermore, Twitter should factor in that Trump regularly tweets outright lies. An August 12, Washington Post Fact Checker column is headlined: “President Trump has made 12,019 false or misleading claims over 928 days.”
Why doesn’t Twitter ban Trump when it regularly suspends or bans users whose inciting tweets don’t have the “priming racism” and explosive impact of Trump’s tweets?
A November, 2017, article in the Independent included a response from Twitter as to why they don’t shutter Trump’s account. The Independent approached Twitter after Trump tweeted that “North Korean leadership ‘won't be around much longer.’” North Korea responded by stating that the tweet was “an act of war,” and that it would start shooting down US bombers (which it didn’t). Given a tweet that could have set off a nuclear war, Twitter remained adamant in keeping Trump’s account open, as it indicated in its response to the Independent:
But at that time, Twitter said that despite the fact that tweet was a clear danger and a potential flouting of its rules, the president's account would be staying around. It said that it considers a "number of factors" and that one of them is "newsworthiness" – suggesting the tweet will stay up because it is in the "public interest.”
"We hold all accounts to the same rules, and consider a number of factors when assessing whether Tweets violate our rules," the company wrote in a long tweet thread on its “Policy” account. "Among the considerations is newsworthiness and whether a Tweet is of public interest.
"This has long been internal policy and we'll soon update our public-facing rules to reflect it. We need to do better on this, and will.
"Twitter is committed to transparency and keeping people informed about what's happening in the world. We'll continue to be guided by these fundamental principles."
Of course what went unsaid in Twitter’s statement to the Independent is that as a corporation it would be subject to fierce retaliation from the brass-knuckle bully in the White House were it to suspend or block Trump’s inexorably destructive Twitter account.
Then, of course, there is the enormous free branding and user growth (which translates into revenue) that comes from the president of the United States making Twitter a daily news item around the world. No money could buy this monstrously large amount of publicity.
Meanwhile, people like the “Mooch” get suspended for fat-shaming. (Ironically, around the same time Trump fat-shamed a person at a rally whom Trump mistakenly thought was a protester.)
The future of democracy and this planet are in perilous jeopardy. Trump’s tweets exacerbate and inflame a precarious moment in history.
Twitter should do the right thing and shut Trump’s Twitter account down, but it won’t. Its profits would be at stake, and that speaks volumes about money and political power as we near the potentially cataclysmic election of 2020.