The movement to have Donald Trump banned from using Twitter has gained momentum as of late, but chances are it’ll fall far from its goal. Even after Twitter suspended a handful of accounts that spewed provocative streams of hate and racism that violated a new policy – you know, like the president seemingly does daily – Trump has remained exempt, steadily tweeting up a storm of short-form messages replete with bullying, bravado and blustery bias.
“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” the social media giant wrote in a blog post published Friday. “It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”
That last part is laughable at best, since Trump is the one egging on North Korea’s maniacal leader Kim Jong Un, who could realistically respond by starting a nuclear war with America. In other words, Trump’s tweeting has been theoretically threatening the national security of the same United States that he was elected to supposedly make “great again.”
In this case, where Trump has Twitter-taunted Kim by calling him “Rocket Man” and boasted of having a “a much bigger & more powerful” so-called “Nuclear Button,” the “necessary discussion” that Twitter says it earnestly wants to foster and protect is actually nothing more than tough Twitter posturing in the face of a legitimate world threat.
To be sure, Trump is indeed breaking Twitter’s rules, and it’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore. So much so that the nonprofit civil rights organization Color of Change has started an online petition to ban the president from tweeting.
“Instead of suspending his account the first time Trump used it to threaten a foreign adversary, [Twitter CEO] Jack Dorsey let Donald Trump get away with abusive and dangerous behavior that the average user would be banned for,” the petition reads in part. “Now, he’s using the platform to escalate the threat even further. Donald Trump went onto Twitter and embarrassed himself and everyone else by using it to threaten a nuclear war while being juvenile instead of using experts and diplomats at the State Department. Enough is enough!”
Trump has also used Twitter to call for voter suppression and push his populist propaganda, two things that go against the bulk of what “The Twitter Rules” — announced in November and enforced beginning last month — stand for. Those are only recent instances, though, as he’s also previously sent out anti-Semitic tweets along with others that promoted institutional racism against Black athletes over the NFL national anthem controversy.
“All individuals accessing or using Twitter’s services must adhere to the policies set forth in the Twitter Rules,” the announcement said in part.
But even after Trump retweeted anti-Islam videos that showed manipulated (read: fake) images of a “Muslim migrant” assaulting a handicapped boy, his tweeting rights were never suspended. That is, until a rogue, now former Twitter employee took the short-lived but eternally revered steps of deactivating the president’s account before fleeing the country around Thanksgiving.
The truth is that Twitter probably needs Trump just as much as Trump clearly needs Twitter. And while that fact is unsettling enough, another unwanted truth lingers around the corner — Trump will probably get impeached and/or resign before his Twitter fingers ever stop typing. Unfortunately, it’s doubtful any of those possibilities will ever become reality.