Ban Trump from Twitter
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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). Things have only gotten worse after three years of failing to grow into the office, to the point where he hints at armed insurrection against Democratic governors... during a pandemic. Trump's 'success' at misusing your platform is destroying this country. And so...
To the Chief Officers at Twitter: We the undersigned believe that Donald 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, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, 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. We also understand that tweeting is not a First Amendment right, as discussed in Salon, as explained clearly by CNN, the Guardian, 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. In 2020 this danger is not only political but concerns matters of life and death since he also Tweeted misinformation and denial for two months about the coronavirus pandemic.
Twitter policy states that failure to adhere to their policies "may result in the temporary locking and/or permanent suspension of account(s)." Trump has demonstrably and continually violated the following rules. Unlawful purposes or furtherance of illegal activities: His vindictive Dec. 6, 2016 Tweet aimed at Boeing led directly to significant drop in stock price. His Dec. 12 Tweet aimed at Lockheed Martin, precipitated a 4% drop in stock value. Abusive Behavior: 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. 2016 in the NY Times. In 2019 Rep. Omar has been targeted similarly, and Trump actually used 9/11 in an April 13 tweet to incite violence against her. Trump has threatened entire populations in tweets, such as on 12/22/16 regarding North Korea and nuclear weapons. Targeted abuse or harassment of others: Trump not only attacked a female college student; his abuse of nearly 300 people was graphically summarized in the New York Times. He routinely targets the judiciary, senators, companies, and anybody that criticizes him, often using misinformation. Attacks on the Mueller investigation were relentless, with lawyers seeing in them an intent to obstruct justice. 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 11/30/16 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. Much more could be listed on just this topic.
Most hypocritically, Twitter has created a blatant double standard for normal vs high-volume users and public figures. So Trump's violations do not get him removed as you or I might be; instead they label the tweets,and in May 2020 began adding fact-checking statements to his Tweeted lies. Enough of these half-measures, which threaten to bring down his corrupt DOJ on all social media. Senator Kamala Harris has it right that his usage incites violence and threatens civil society.
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? Or helped Trump kill a few more thousand Americans with his disinformation regarding covid-19? 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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