Should Donald Trump be banned from Twitter? | The Tylt
Should Donald Trump be banned from Twitter?
Trump's behavior would get anyone else banned from Twitter. Keeping Trump on the platform simply because his posts are newsworthy is not a good enough excuse. Trump's tweets are actively dangerous—in early October, he retweeted a post controversial pastor Robert Jeffries which said there will be a second civil war if Trump were impeached.
That's a President implying that if the rule of law were applied to him, his supporters would rise up violently in his defense.
The New York Times' Kara Swisher explained just why that tweet was so bad:
More to the point, the president of the United States of America was able—without any consequence—to suggest there would be a domestic war that could result in deaths if he were subject to rules and laws—such as the whistle-blower statutes.
It's incredibly dangerous to allow Trump to repeatedly post things like that tweet above. It's not about censoring conservative ideas. It's about protecting society and democracy from a uniquely dangerous and unstable President. Swisher goes on to argue:
It’s important to stress that what Mr. Trump is doing is no different from what various autocrats and haters around the world are doing with social media platforms to push their malevolent agendas. With this latest move by the troller in chief, with no reaction from Twitter, it’s official that the medium has been hijacked by those who want to take advantage of its porous and sloppy rules.
Twitter says it won't ban Trump from the platform because he's a world leader. He's not your average user—his posts and tweets are inherently newsworthy and have some degree of importance. Hiding his tweets or banning him would only damage the discussion and conversation about his ideas—it wouldn't make Trump any less dangerous.
Here's how Twitter framed it in a blog post announcing their policy:
Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate. It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.
We review Tweets by leaders within the political context that defines them, and enforce our rules accordingly. No one person's account drives Twitter’s growth, or influences these decisions. We work hard to remain unbiased with the public interest in mind.
Banning Trump from Twitter wouldn't have the impact Trump's critics think. Roughly 10 million people actually read Trump's tweets directly—while that number may seem large, it's actually not that much in context. Here's how FiveThirtyEight frames it:
Twenty million people isn’t nothing. Neither is 10 million. It’s more people than read FiveThirtyEight most days or watch any of the network news programs. But it’s nowhere close to the 52 million followers Twitter says he has. And it’s a small share of the roughly 325 million people who live in the U.S. or even the more than 137 million people who voted in the 2016 presidential election.