President-Elect Donald Trump has become famous (or infamous) for his use of Twitter as a tool. Now, president or not, the social media platform is saying it may shut down Trump’s account if he violates its hate speech guidelines.
“The Twitter Rules prohibit violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct, and multiple account abuse, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies,” a Twitter spokesman clarified to Slate this week.
Trump’s controversial post-election tweets include calling for the jailing or citizenship loss of flag burners, and unfounded claims that millions voted illegally in the election. An online petition to ban Trump from Twitter has already garnered 22,000 signatures.
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
“Trump has crossed a line by attacking people on Twitter based on their race, religion, gender and more,” Shirley Burns, the author of the petition, wrote.
“By locking or suspending Donald Trump’s account, Twitter can send a powerful message that hate is not accepted or condoned on their platform.”
Facebook, on which Trump also has an active account, is unlikely to ban him, mainly due to his huge number of followers.
“At the point where the person who’s elected president of the United States is expressing that opinion and has 60 million people who are followers, then the question is, OK, I think that that is mainstream political discourse,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg explained on November 10.