By Phoebe Grinter
Twitter is one of the biggest social media platforms of the 21st century, with around 330 million active users monthly. One of those users is current POTUS (President of the United States) Donald Trump, who is a little too active.
In his first six months in office, Trump sent a whopping 1,002 tweets, a number that closely rivals the times he played golf in the same amount of time. These tweets, along with approximately 8,000 Trump sent during his campaign, clearly show his attachment to Twitter is a personal one. Rarely does he use this tool in a constructive way, but rather to insult, threaten and generally piss people off.
Twitter is notorious for not handling abuse well, so much so that even former CEO Dick Costolo told employees he was “ashamed” at how the company “sucked” at handling abuse. In fact, in the past many celebrities, including Ed Sheeran, have decided to remove themselves from the site due to trolls becoming too much.
So the big question is why don’t Twitter put a stop to Trump? Because we would miss the constant threats of nuclear war? Because he might actually get shit done? No – because Twitter is scared. It is clear that Trump breaks a number of rules defined in the small print of the site, but the explanation often giving for not banning him is that his tweets fall under “newsworthiness”. Let’s face it, Trump is the most powerful man in the world, so pissing him off would not be a good idea. Not only are Twitter scared of him, but they need him: he has helped increase engagement on the platform and therefore added value to the brand in the shape of around 2 million daily active users. He is also worth an estimated $2bn to the company because news outlets pick up his tweets, which increases brand-name recognition.
A common copout excuse for not banning Trump is the issue of free speech. I call bullshit on that. The First Amendment, which is very short and to the point, states “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech”, therefore this does not apply to Twitter, which is a private service. It helps if you view Twitter as your local pub: privately run and open to the public, anyone can go in and get a drink. However, if you have too many drinks and start being disruptive you get kicked out, otherwise the valued customers will leave. Trump is that belligerent dick in the corner screaming abuse at everyone, slapping women on the arse and telling the bartender to only serve white Americans. So come on Twitter, listen to your people: detoxify the platform. Kick Trump out of your pub!
Personally, I think publicly calling odds-on with Kim Jong Un about starting a nuclear war is reason enough to ban this dick from all social media. It’s a small step to try to prevent mass death, but a step that Twitter should make now to take a stand against America’s biggest bully.