It seems clear now that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is going to ban President Donald Trump. It’s just a matter of when.
Dorsey will come up with a pretext, however absurd or cynical, as part of Twitter’s ongoing efforts to interfere in the 2020 election. It will probably consist of a charge that Trump has had one too many violations of some entirely subjective and impossible-to-define Twitter policy on abusive or harmful speech.
We got another preview of what that might look like this week when Twitter once again appended a warning label to a Trump tweet that apparently violated Twitter’s policy against “abusive behavior.” What did Trump say that was abusive? He said there would never be an “autonomous zone” in the nation’s capital, and that any mob trying to take over D.C. streets would be met with “serious force.”
In other words, the president promised to enforce the law. That was considered “abusive” by Twitter.
The irony is that the president’s tweet was in reference to a group of people who were actually engaged in abusive behavior. Trump sent the tweet after a mob vandalized St. John’s Episcopal Church and tried to pull down a statue of former President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square Monday night. Twitter justified the warning label by citing its policy against abusive behavior, which prohibits “the targeted harassment of someone” or inciting other people to harass someone.
How, exactly, the tweet in question could be considered harassment, or incitement to harassment, the company didn’t say. And of course it didn’t because the policy is nothing more than subjective gibberish meant to provide a pretext for censoring whatever Trump might say that Jack Dorsey doesn’t like.
Last month, when Twitter unveiled this policy, a Trump tweet was flagging for “glorifying violence.” What did Trump say that glorified violence? That if Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey couldn’t get mass riots under control, he would “send in the National Guard & get the job done right.”
Again, the president was promising to enforce the law in the face of local officials who would not. It takes a willful suspension of reason and common sense to understand these tweets as either abusive or glorifying violence.
Same goes for Twitter’s flagging of Trump tweets last month about the possibility of mail-in voting fraud in November, which Twitter said were misleading—despite plenty of evidence that mail-in voting is uniquely susceptible to fraud, and despite the fact that Trump was tweeting about something that might happen in the future.
How could Twitter know whether Trump’s predictions are misleading? It’s a mystery.
Twitter Has a Pattern of Targeting Conservative Accouts
But none of that matters to Dorsey and his woke minions at Twitter. They don’t really care about misleading information or abusive and harmful behavior, and they prove it just about every week.
This week, for example, Twitter temporarily removed a viral “Karen” video of a man berating a terrified woman after a traffic altercation in which the man says “this is her license plate… this is her address” while he films her car and residence and she cowers in fear.
It was clearly abusive and threatening behavior, and was reported as such by thousands of people who were shocked at what amounted to doxxing and harassment. But after a brief hiatus, the video was back up on Wednesday. No violation to see here, folks. Move along.
Or again this week, Twitter announced it had permanently banned Carpe Donktum, a pro-Trump meme account that had more than 270,000 followers. Why? Because the account posted memes—you know, the crudely doctored video clips you see all over the internet. Twitter banned the account for copyright violations, a decision that if applied equaled would certainly result in Twitter banning millions of accounts.
But of course the Carpe Donktum account wasn’t banned for copyright violations, it was banned because it produced pro-Trump memes—one of which, the “racist toddler” meme, Trump himself retweeted last Thursday. But I’m sure that had nothing to do with Twitter’s decision. Couldn’t have. Twitter was, after all, just enforcing its completely neutral policy. Right?
This Only Goes In One Direction
The arbitrariness and palpable bias at Twitter also shows up in errors of omission. When Democrats tweet misleading or inaccurate claims, or leftist meme-makers go after Trump, Twitter simply does nothing.
For example on Wednesday, Sen. Cory Booker posted an MSNBC interview clip in which he makes several misleading claims about the Republican police reform bill in the Senate, saying it “fails across the board” because it doesn’t ban chokeholds or no-knock raids by state and local police, implying that House Democrats’ police reform bill would.
What Booker doesn’t mention is that House bill doesn’t in fact ban those things, and treats them much the same way the Senate GOP bill does. Sen. Tim Scott was quick to point that out, but if Twitter is really interested in combating misinformation on its site, you’d think it would append a label or warning to Booker’s tweet. It didn’t.
The plain fact, excruciatingly obvious at this point, is that Twitter’s criteria for what’s misleading, abusive, or harassing, or what “glorifies violence,” is entirely one-sided and almost always enforced against conservatives and Republicans but never against leftists or Democrats. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Twitter to ban videos of rioters beating up passersby and torching storefronts, or Democrats lying, or left-wing accounts abusing copyrights. It’s not going to happen.
On the other hand, you can be sure that before we get too much closer to the November election, Twitter will drop any pretense about being a neutral platform and ban Trump outright.