Twitter and the President

Social media company right to display, flag offensive tweets

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Twitter and the President

Illustration by Anna Krylova/Clarion

Illustration by Anna Krylova/Clarion

Illustration by Anna Krylova/Clarion

EZRA PETERS, Staff Writer

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Twitter is rolling out some new changes concerning how they handle violations of their terms of service. Usually when someone posts something heinous enough to get the twitter cops on their tails, its lights out for their account.

For a public persona, getting banned just might mark the end of their career, so it is imperative that they follow the rules the platform lays out.

A certain president, specifically the 45th one just might be getting away with his rule breaking tweets.

Apparently, Twitter is considering leaving some of his more problematic tweets up as he is, “an important public figure.”

Now while some may disagree, the president certainly fits that description and Twitter being the lucrative platform it is, would love to keep as many eyes drawn to it as possible, so leaving President Trump’s account and tweets up, might be more mutually beneficial than it first appears.

Twitter’s new president-based policy isn’t a simple, “get out of jail free” card for Trump, it’s a new compromise in the interest of public information, and in my opinion, accountability.

The strange upside to this comes from the ambiguity of speech on moderated platforms. When something posted on a platform and it’s flagged as breaking the rules, it is almost immediately deleted, keeping the platform free from any blemishes it may leave on the site’s reputation.

This way of doing things may seem fine and dandy at first, but it has its drawbacks. Trump makes many statements, most of which he brushes aside, or outright denies later. Twitter deleting Trump’s rule breaking tweets gives him plausible deniability, which is in itself, a certain kind of, “get out of jail free” card.

What would be the point of admitting something or being held accountable when there is no real proof that the statement you are denying even existed, it’s like a gaslighting campaign you don’t even have to organize on your own.

This is where Twitter comes in with their new policy, they won’t delete his tweets, and they won’t ban or deactivate his account, but they will mark his tweets as rule breaking, and keep them up for the entire world to see.

This, “hall of fame,” (or more fittingly “hall of lame”) makes an example of what content isn’t allowed on Twitter, while also being a wall of claims and statements that the president can’t dodge or run away from.

While this policy initially struck me as the slow death of social responsibility, it turned out to be a fine and almost martyr type of decision.

At the end of the day, it makes you think about the state of the world and how strange it is that something like this is newsworthy, solely because the current U.S president keeps breaking the rules.