The rules are simple, okay? No threats of violence. No targeted abuse or harassment. No inciting anybody else to engage in targeted abuse or harassment. No hateful conduct.
Now think about Donald Trump’s tweeting habits. Is he breaking those rules, which come from Twitter’s terms of service?
- Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
- Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Some of the factors that we may consider when evaluating abusive behavior include:
- if a primary purpose of the reported account is to harass or send abusive messages to others;
- if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats;
- if the reported account is inciting others to harass another account; and
- if the reported account is sending harassing messages to an account from multiple accounts.
- Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.
Trump has long been criticized for his impulsiveness, but less than six months into his presidency, alarm over his Twitter conduct has hit fever pitch.
On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted a short video clip showing him pummeling another person outside of a wrestling ring—with the other person’s face blocked out by the CNN logo. If that’s not a direct threat of violence against the American citizens who work for CNN, it’s certainly a celebration of violence.
The president is not only aware of the firestorm he’s ignited, he appears to be relishing it. “My use of social media is not Presidential,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL.”