Normally, when someone tweets a video encouraging their followers to attack journalists or says something vile and hateful about another person on Twitter, those tweets get removed. While some white supremacists — most notably, Trump supporters “rage furby” Charles C. Johnson for racist tweets and right-wing pedophilia advocate Milo Yiannopoulos for…racist tweets — find themselves kicked off of Twitter, some are allowed to remain no matter how horrible their tweets are…like the President*.
Recently, Donald Trump has attacked MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host, Mika Brzezinski, over her alleged low IQ and her face — two personal attacks that are in violation of Twitter’s rules. He also tweeted out a video that shows him beating up “CNN” that he got from a white supremacist who has a hobby of identifying alleged Jews in the media and fantasizes about stabbing Muslims in the neck. Any regular person would be blocked from the social media platform in a heartbeat for tweeting half of the stuff Trump does, but Twitter has decided that the attention he generates far outweighs the value of doing the right thing and banning Donald Trump.
“Twitter said it considered three factors: the political context of the conversation surrounding the tweet, the various ways it could be interpreted, and the lack of details in the tweet itself,” CNN’s Jackie Wattles writes of The Donald’s CNN video tweet — a strange claim from Twitter, as its rules clearly prohibit the “targeted harassment of others” (like journalists both as a group and individually) and posts that “promote violence”:
Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Some of the factors that we may consider when evaluating abusive behavior include:
if a primary purpose of the reported account is to harass or send abusive messages to others;
if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats;
if the reported account is inciting others to harass another account; and
if the reported account is sending harassing messages to an account from multiple accounts.
It could be argued that the “primary purpose” of Trump’s account is to “harass or send abusive messages to others” — and he definitely has made threats of violence, promoted violence, harassed others, engaged in “one-sided” fights, and any number of other awful things.
The idea that Donald Trump is not almost constantly in violation of Twitter’s policies is laughable — but when you consider that Trump’s tweet threatening CNN journalists has racked up more than 312,000 retweets and 515,000 likes, it really comes down to Twitter making a bad decision because the numbers are good for them.
Featured image via CNN