Twitter Says It Would Consider Banning Donald Trump's Account (NO EVIDENCE PROVIDED YET) -

The president-elect of the United States is a notorious troll — a fact which his promise to ban Muslims from entering the country, threat to imprison and strip Americans of citizenship for exercising their First Amendment rights, and widespread insulting of people online all make clear. We now learn via Slate that the two technology platforms Donald Trump uses most prominently to spread his messages of hate and division, Twitter and Facebook, take a very different stance on how to respond to future instances of harassment by Trump. Namely, Twitter says it would consider suspending his account. Facebook, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg (mostly) denies contributed to Trump's victory by means of spreading fake news, not so much.

The publication reached out to Twitter directly and inquired whether top government officials could ever lose access to their accounts for violating the site's rules. “The Twitter Rules prohibit violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct, and multiple account abuse, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies,” a spokesperson responded. When asked if those standards apply to Trump, who The Guardian reports will soon be given the handle @POTUS, the spokesperson replied in the affirmative. “The Twitter Rules apply to all accounts, including verified accounts.”

Twitter has previously banned so-called "alt-right" a.k.a. white supremacist trolls. That the future president of this country could fall into that category reflects a sad state of affairs. And yet, according the company, Twitter Rules are Twitter Rules. If Trump violates them, his account could be sanctioned in some form or another.

Facebook, for its part, says it has a slightly more nuanced view of things. The company's Community Standards have frequently led to account suspensions — think drag queens losing access to their accounts because they are not using their "real names" — and the common layperson might mistakenly believe that this strict policing of account usage might apply to all Facebook users equally. Nope.

“When we review reports of content that may violate our policies, we take context into consideration,” a Facebook spokesperson told Slate. “That context can include the value of political discourse.”

For example, when Trump wrote that he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the country, The Wall Street Journal reports that some Facebook employees advocating removing the post for violating the community standards on hate speech. Zuckerberg stepped in, allowing the post to remain, and later said views expressed by Trump are now part of the mainstream. "Our real goal is to reflect what our community wants," he explained in a tech conference interview. "That kind of content, we would have thought previously that would make a lot of people feel uncomfortable, and people wouldn't want that. But at the point where the person who's elected president of the United States is expressing that opinion and has 60 million people who are followers, then the question is, OK, I think that that is mainstream political discourse that I think we need to be pretty careful about saying that that's not a reasonable [inaudible]."

So, as Zuckerberg sees it Trump's speech can never violate community standards because anything he says — no matter how repugnant — is now "mainstream political discourse."

Leave it to Zuckerberg and Trump to make Twitter, a platform besieged with harassment, look like the thoughtful adult in the room.

It's going to be a long four years.


Castigat ridendo mores
True & Honest Fan
If they do that, he'll just set up an account on Gab (pro free speech Twitter with an alleged right wing bias.) That's not something they want. If newspapers start mentioning this "Gab" place where you can see the presidents tweets, boom, suddenly Twitter not the only name in English language microblogging anymore.
Of course, microblogging as a whole is probably going away. The fad has run its course.


i am the pig who wrestles
True & Honest Fan
i love the way google/facebook/twitter/reddit thought they could influence the election but because they tried so hard it went the exact opposite way they wanted.

notice the moment they lost all the "fake news" stories appeared.

maybe we've always had fake news but i feel like in the past journos tried to report things as opposed to spin things.


Christorical Figure
True & Honest Fan
Asked whether Twitter would ever consider banning key government officials or even the president himself, a company spokesperson responded via email: “The Twitter Rules prohibit violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct, and multiple account abuse, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies.” Pressed on whether that meant that, hypothetically, Trump himself could be suspended were he to violate those policies, a spokesperson confirmed: “The Twitter Rules apply to all accounts, including verified accounts.”
They're not going to ban Trump. They're merely being spergy and saying their rules apply to everyone.

They probably won't, anyway. I lost faith in twitter's leadership to even hint at impartiality a long, long time ago.

But still, they probably won't.


지옥에서 모피 모피
True & Honest Fan
Trump is far, far less inflammatory than most political accounts, he barely even swears. Why pick on him other than the fact he'll be in charge of @POTUS in a month? Meanwhile a bunch of race baiters like Shaun King et al are allowed to make sweeping statements about the white devils without any repercussions.

That article they referenced, though. It's full of incredibly reaching crap like this:

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