Suspend or Cancel Trump's Twitter Account
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“This is my megaphone. This is who I am. This is how I communicate. It’s the reason I got elected. It’s the reason that I’m successful.” Trump said this about Twitter to an advisor in 2017 (quoted in Bob Woodward's Fear).
To the Chief Officers at Twitter: We the undersigned believe that presidential candidate, president-elect, and now president* Donald J. Trump has abused his Twitter account in such a way as warrants cancellation or suspension. We are grateful that you have already banned neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, Trump advisor Roger Stone, and others for violating Twitter rules, and ask that D.J. Trump not be allowed to continue violating those same rules with impunity. We also understand that tweeting is not a First Amendment right, as discussed in Salon, as explained clearly by CNN, and even addressed in a Twitter forum. Tweeting is speech conducted on a privately-run online platform governed by community standards and terms-of-service agreements. Even the ACLU said in August 2017 that it will no longer defend hate speech, particularly that of neo-Nazi, white supremacists. All of us recognize that Trump has in effect weaponized Twitter in an unfair and dangerous manner.
Twitter policy states: All users must adhere to the policies set forth in the Twitter Rules. Failure to do so may result in the temporary locking and/or permanent suspension of account(s). Trump has demonstrably violated the following rules:
Unlawful use: You may not use our service for any unlawful purposes or in furtherance of illegal activities. His vindictive Dec. 6 Tweet aimed at Boeing led directly to significant drop in stock price. His Dec. 12 Tweet aimed at Lockheed Martin, precipitating a 4% drop in stock value.
Abusive Behavior: Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism. The cyberbullying of steelworker union chief Chuck Jones, directly leading to death threats, was reported Dec. 8 in the NY Times.
Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Trump's attack on a female college student is another example wherein the power of Twitter combined with Trump's status has directly resulted in personal destruction.
Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. Trump's Nov. 30 Tweet threatening refugees is notable here as was his infamous rant against the American judge of Mexican descent. More recently we have the threatening of sports figures (whom he called "sons of bitches") exercising their freedom of speech, and the shameful attacks on the Mayor of San Juan while she deals with a catastrophe in Puerto Rico.
These are just a few examples of violations that form a clear pattern, clear enough so that his Twitter abuse of nearly 300 people was graphically summarized in the New York Times. For these and other reasons the case has already been made by journalists for banning Trump from Twitter. Not surprisingly, and straight from the Nazi playbook, Trump has repeatedly referred to any critical news media as "the enemy of the people."
Not included in the above is Trump's use of Twitter to avoid the press, whose duty it is to critically report to the public. Another category not found in Twitter rules is the reckless endangerment of entire populations. Trump's Dec. 22, 2016 tweet regarding nuclear weapons shows how the abuse of Twitter may accelerate global annihilation. His current tweets regarding North Korea undermine his own diplomats while moving us closer to nuclear conflict. And who's going to follow your rules if you change them to accommodate a single user who cannot follow them? Shameful.
Since Trump has taken office, his use of Twitter to spread misinformation has accelerated to such a degree that it cannot be chronicled here. He lies to sheriffs, to the military, to the press, to his supporters, and repeats it all on Twitter. He has interfered in the prosecution of a terrorist by Tweeting his advocacy of the death penalty. He routinely attacks the judiciary, senators, companies who don't like his brand, and anybody that criticizes him, often using misinformation.
Ultimately it is up to the officers of Twitter whether Trump is allowed to continue abusing people, institutions, corporations, and the planet with your powerful technology. To be blunt, Twitter is becoming with each day more complicit in everything Trump does and will do. People are increasingly demanding an explanation for Twitter's failure to enforce its rules, and the justification offered so far--that his tweets are newsworthy--is nothing more than greed. Ask yourselves, do you want to be remembered as the corporation that helped start a civil war, or World War III? Are you content to remain a fascist's megaphone, or does your company have an ounce of civic or global responsibility? We hope you make the right decision, and soon.
Thank you for your attention. To be delivered to:
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer
Chief Technology Officer
Chief Marketing Officer
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