In December 2016, Twitter rolled out new rules banning “violent threats, multiple slurs, epithets, racist or sexist tropes” and any content that “incites fear, or reduces someone to less than human” including any threats advocating violence against civilians. These rules don’t apply to U.S. President Donald Trump, a man who basically threatened (again) to nuke North Korea and its 25.37 million citizens yesterday. The Donald Trump Twitter account doesn’t have to play by the rules, and one activist group is sick of it.
Charges of “complicity” over the Donald Trump Twitter account
In response, the activist group Resist SF protested Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters last night, projecting “@jack is #complicit” (a reference to Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey) and “Ban @realDonaldTrump” onto the sides of Twitter’s headquarters last night.
In a public Facebook post published today, Resist SF wrote:
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, has enabled @realDonaldTrump from his first dog whistles in the birther movement to his latest nuclear pissing contest. @Jack is #complicit. He endangers the world and allows Trump to break his company’s own terms of service to do it. As long as he is CEO of Twitter and Square, they cannot be considered moral tech companies, and the board of directors of both should do the right thing and insist that either Trump or Jack must go. Jack Dorsey brought 280 characters to Twitter, but what Twitter needs is a CEO with more character.
Resist SF also has another protest at Twitter’s headquarters planned for tonight. The official Facebook invite for the protest says, “Join the event even if you cannot attend physically. We will post shareable media.”
Is deleting the Donald Trump Twitter account really that great of an idea?
Twitter’s rules also specify that “context matters when evaluating abusive behavior” and that the platform’s ban on violent threats against civilians doesn’t apply to “military or government entities.”
Earlier this year, New Republic writer Jeet Heer called banning Trump from Twitter “a singularly idiotic idea.” Heer called Trump’s tweets “of immense importance politically” adding that “They can and have been used against him by opponents and by courts reviewing his executive orders,” and “He’s written at least one tweet that could be the basis of impeachment.”
Trump could also easily issue statements through another social media platform, though maybe activists would seek to have his accounts banned on other platforms as well.