With Trump consistently disregarding even the pretense of diplomacy and political correctness, Twitter often finds itself under fire for never taking action against his problematic tweets.
Donald Trump's reckless and at times world war provocative tweeting habits have long been a matter of both concern and ridicule. Although many hoped against hope that perhaps—just perhaps—the former businessman would give late-night social media ramblings a rest upon entering the White House, history has proven otherwise. In fact, things have only gone downhill at warp speed over the course of his presidency. With him consistently disregarding even the pretense of diplomacy and political correctness, Twitter often finds itself under fire for never taking action against his problematic tweets. Does Twitter, like Melania, not care?
Snap Chat has just Dumped Trump because of his Tweets— David Colvin (@milehiguy48) June 3, 2020
When is Twitter & Facebook going to dump Trump .... > ? pic.twitter.com/ABWmfDyJWt
Well, one guy set out to find out just how much of a leeway Twitter has been giving the President and put into motion an intriguing social experiment. The Twitter profile Will they suspend me? came into being to determine whether it actually is possible for someone who's not the President of the United States to get away with the tweets Trump posts. This account will tweet what the President tweets. Let’s see if it gets suspended for violating Twitter's TOS. Follow along with this social experiment. Report any tweets that violate the rules. Thank you, the profile tweeted on May 30.
Here we go again. Fake News @CNN is blaming RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA. They are sick losers with VERY bad ratings! P.S. Can’t blame China because they need the cash?— Will they suspend me? (@SuspendThePres) May 30, 2020
For 3 days the account tweeted everything the President tweeted: word for word. It bashed the demonstrators calling for justice for George Floyd, it took swipes at the Democratic party, it blamed the "fake media" for something, called Antifa a terrorist organization, referred to protestors as "thugs," and issued a blatant threat of gun violence against them. You know, the one where he quoted the infamous phrase from racist 1960s Miami police chief Walter Headley: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts." The tweet that finally forced Twitter to add a warning to the President's original tweet.
The President tweeted about shooting protestors in Minneapolis.— NPR (@NPR) May 29, 2020
Twitter said the tweet glorified violence — and hid it from view. https://t.co/UYNRIu5f5D
Will they suspend me? kept it up for roughly 68 hours before the microblogging platform suspended the account for 12 hours. Revealing himself to be the brains behind the Trump twitter 2.0 profile, user Bizarre Lazar broke the news of the suspension in a tweet which reads: Experiment Update - Well it finally happened. Took longer than expected. 12-hour suspension and had to delete the offending tweet. Here’s the screenshots @suspendthepres. Will post to the account when suspension is lifted.
Experiment Update - Well it finally happened. Took longer than expected. 12 hour suspension and had to delete the offending tweet. Here’s the screenshots @suspendthepres. Will post to the account when suspension is lifted. pic.twitter.com/wvKV9HDKBn— Bizarre Lazar (@BizarreLazar) June 1, 2020
Other Twitter users commended the profile for exposing the extremely low standard to which Trump is held and called out the hypocrisy of not taking stricter action against his account.
You got a 12 hr suspension + had to delete the offending tweet, just for mirroring the original author below who was apparently given no suspension & his tweet stays up marked like this: pic.twitter.com/sPGN4A59AB— Skep tickle (@Ellesun) June 2, 2020
I got permanently banned for calling out a covid denier who said the coffins in Italy were all empty & fake.— Not Nick (@FuoKcu) June 2, 2020
Now #Trump is inciting violence & @jack just sits back & allows it!
Is it fear, or favour, Jack?
Tweeting “fuck” at a blue check mark is also a good way to catch a 12 hours time out.— Action Figure Pasnak (@dougpasnak) June 3, 2020
Will they suspend me? got right back to business following the 12-hour suspension. Experiment Update - Account just now coming off a 12-hour suspension. Took roughly 68 hours for Twitter to suspend me. The violating tweet has been deleted. Twitter's reasoning for the violation? Glorifying violence. Experiment will continue. DMs will remain open. Thank you, a tweet from the profile stated.
Wait- so they suspend you for the content but allow him to post it!?! The hypocrisy is sickening. It seems like all social media is polluted.— mary b wright (@Marybwright3) June 2, 2020
Yep, just got a notice on a tweet of Trumps (that didn’t get flagged though I reported it) but you reposted and it did get flagged. 🤬 Way to go @jack. You created this monster and you are just as responsible for the current state of this country as he is. pic.twitter.com/ihAy3svGTD— Sin Nomine | eff da popo (@WillemPenn) June 2, 2020
Speaking to Mashable about his social experiment, Bizarre Lazar said: "I wanted to see for myself if he was indeed violating [Twitter's terms of service]. Figured what better way to test out the hypothesis than to see if they suspended me for the exact same language." As for why Twitter refuses to suspend Trump's account in a similar manner, apparently the company has taken the stance that "it may be in the public's interest" for the President's tweets to stay up irrespective of their incendiary or harmful nature.
Jack Dorsey, why is Trump above the law? An account that retweeted everything the President tweeted was suspended for violating twitters terms of service 68 hours after it opened for glorifying violence. Why not suspend Trump??— Duty To Warn 🔉 (@duty2warn) June 3, 2020
"I believe we as a free society which is more and more dependent on social media to gather our information are responsible for holding our elected officials accountable for the content they put out there," said Lazar. "Social media platforms themselves have the same responsibilities however they can be hamstrung by certain limitations. In a world leader's case, Twitter makes the argument that their content is important to be able be viewed regardless of its content to further national interest in the conversation. While I don’t disagree with that statement I feel we should also know if that content would otherwise violate a platform's [terms of service]."