Twitter says it will suspend the accounts of people who wish “death” on Donald Trump in the wake of his positive COVID-19 test. They claim they’ve had an “abusive behavior” rule in place since last April and will use that to discipline users who wish Trump would die.
“Content that wishes, hopes or expresses a desire for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against an individual is against our rules,” Twitter said in a statement to the outlet.
The anti-abuse policy explicitly bans tweets “hoping that someone dies as a result of a serious disease e.g., “I hope you get cancer and die.”
It’s not clear how often the rule will be enforced, as many have taken to Twitter to send ill wishes to the president since his and first lady Melania’s positive tests were announced early Friday morning.
Facebook and TikTok also announced they would take down posts wishing Trump dead.
A Facebook spokesperson said posts wishing Trump’s death — including comments on the president’s pages, and posts that tag him — will be taken down from the social network.
Twitter said tweets that “wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease” against anyone, including the president, will be pulled off the platform. Twitter says such “abusive” behavior can lead to an account being suspended.
A spokesperson for TikTok told NPR that cheering on Trump’s death would be in violation of the short-form video app’s community guidelines, saying content longing for Trump’s demise “would be a violation of our community guidelines and removed if we find that.”
It’s a noble policy, except its honored in the breach. This has been especially true of outright threats against Trump. UCLA professor Sarah Roberts, who studies online content moderation, highlights some of the difficulties for social media sites.
“There’s been an outpouring of regular people saying, ‘I’ve been seeing death threats, rape threats, doxxing for years,’ and there’s been a complete lack of action,” Roberts said. “It’s much easier to go and find instances against a major public figure like Trump and erase it than it is with the everyday degradation against everyone else.”
Roberts said she is sympathetic to how difficult decisions about such content can be, since “the social media companies don’t have a playbook to go by,” adding that, “those deciding what content to remove are often some of the least empowered and lowest on the hierarchy workers who are in real-time dealing with the world’s bad behavior.”
As always, there’s a political angle to the wishes of death as the satire site The Babylon Bee points out.
— Jeff Cox (@JCCentCom) October 3, 2020
Leftists who want to manage your healthcare for your own good also think it is a good thing when their political opponents fall ill, and they’re especially excited when they die. From Trump’s brother Robert to Herman Cain, whenever someone with the wrong beliefs dies, they are ecstatic.
“We hope Trump dies of this disease. Oh, and also, we’d like to take over your healthcare,” said one man outside the White House holding a “DIE, TRUMP, DIE!” sign. “Don’t worry — it will be totally fine. We will be completely unbiased and will not prioritize healthcare for our political allies. You will have nothing to worry about, as long as you believe the correct things.”
Joe Biden is removing all negative ads so that his campaign can remain above the filth-throwing mob of leftists who would dance in the streets if Trump or his wife were to die.