Twitter will remove any tweets wishing for Donald Trump’s death as the company stressed such comments violate its policies.
The POTUS announced on Twitter yesterday, October 2, that both he and wife Melania had tested positive for coronavirus and that he was being taken to Walter Reed medical center in Washington D.C. to receive treatment.
Trump has since shared updates to say he thought he was ‘doing very well’ following the diagnosis and to thank people for offering their well wishes, but as he prepares to take on Joe Biden in the November 3 presidential election a number of Twitter users have used the opportunity to wish death upon the president.
The president was known to repeatedly downplay the seriousness of coronavirus, which has killed more than 200,000 people in the United States, and to be flippant with wearing a protective face covering. He has also been found to be the ‘single largest driver’ of misinformation surrounding the virus.
One tweet stated it would be ‘hilarious’ if the president lost his life to the virus, while others noted that it would be ironic if Trump died from a disease he downplayed.
See some celebrity reactions to the news below:
In a post released after Trump’s announcement, Twitter pointed out that tweets relating to Trump’s death violate its Abusive Behavior policy and could result in suspension.
The company wrote:
Tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against *anyone* are not allowed and will need to be removed.
Twitter said that tweets violating its policy may result in the user being banned from posting for a period of time, and that subsequent violations may result in permanent suspension.
Many Twitter users have described the policy as hypocritical, pointing out some people regularly receive threats with few consequences.
Evan Greer, a trans woman and the primary spokesperson for the digital rights organisation Fight For the Future, said she receives death threats on a ‘weekly, sometimes daily basis’.
Per The Guardian, she commented:
The decision to suddenly enforce this policy underscores that centralizing content moderation decisions with Big Tech monopolies will always protect the powerful and silence the marginalized.
Following Twitter’s announcement, some social media users are attempting to find loopholes in the policy to continue posting about the subject.
Twitter told Motherboard it is prioritising the removal of content that ‘has a clear call to action that could potentially cause real-world harm’, and that it ‘won’t take enforcement action on every tweet.’
Trump is being treated with an experimental drug which medical experts say is one of the most promising treatments available for COVID-19.
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Topics: News, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Now, President, Twitter