Twitter Confirms Trump Could Be Banned By January If He Loses Election
US President Donald Trump could be banned from Twitter if he loses the presidential election.
Trump’s use of social media has defined his term in the White House. The POTUS’s presence online is thoroughly singular, regularly tweeting to his followers in ways which many have described as ‘un-presidential’.
Of late, he’s been frequently labelled by the platform for misleading information regarding the election, with Trump accusing the Democrats of trying to ‘steal the election’. Should he fail in achieving a second term, Twitter may not be so liberal with his output.
Since Election Day, November 3, Twitter has hidden 12 of Trump’s tweets with the following warning: ‘Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.’
Twitter have long had the ability to censor and attach warnings to tweets. However it’s come to the fore of Trump’s feed since May, when he tweeted: ‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts’. A label was added notifying users how it violated the site’s policy against glorifying violence.
As per Bloomberg, a Twitter spokesman said: ‘A critical function of our service is providing a place where people can openly and publicly respond to their leaders and hold them accountable. With this in mind, there are certain cases where it may be in the public’s interest to have access to certain tweets, even if they would otherwise be in violation of our rules.’
Due to Trump being the president, his tweets fall into the public interest. However, if he loses the election to Joe Biden, he’d later be placed into the ‘former’ category, like Barack Obama.
From here, if Trump posted a contentious tweet, it could be removed entirely without a warning. He could also receive ‘strikes’, which could lead to a range of punishments from freezing his account to banning him permanently.
When Twitter adds a warning to one of Trump’s tweets, it means users scrolling on their feeds need to click into the post to read it fully. People also aren’t able to retweet it without adding a quote, nor are they able to like it or reply. This doesn’t count as an official strike, but it’s known by the company as a ‘public interest interstitial’.
Twitter is permitted to do this under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives immunity to online providers who remove content that’s ‘otherwise objectionable’.
Taking such action on Trump’s tweets drastically reduces engagement on his account, according to the Election Integrity Partnership, which illustrated the nosedive of quote-tweets after a label was added to a tweet criticising ballot deadlines.
During Trump’s latest press conference, a number of major TV networks also cut off the president, citing the lack of evidence in his claims over ‘illegal votes’.
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