President Trump would be better off if he would stop fulminating on Twitter, and Twitter needs to learn the difference between an illegal threat and boringly normal discussions of public policy. Here is the President’s tweet that brought a rather silly moderation decision from Twitter:
Donald J. Trump
There will never be an “Autonomous Zone” in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!
8:45 AM · Jun 23, 2020·Twitter for iPhone
Twitter is under increasing pressure from the Left to delete the President’s account, so they hid the tweet from public view and attached this warning:
This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about abusive behavior. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.
What is the point of hiding the tweet? Twitter brings more attention to the President’s tweets by doing this. Hiding the tweet actually amplifies the President’s message. Doing this accomplishes nothing, other than virtue signaling for Leftists in Silicon Valley, “woke” users on the platform and Twitter’s own employees.
There is a rather big distinction here. If a private citizen or group of citizens threatened to use “serious force” against a group of protesters, that would be a violation of the Terms of Service and possibly an illegal threat that could bring criminal prosecution. But that is not what is happening here.
Elected officials talking about policy is not the same as a threat of violence by a private citizen. All through human history, the state has warned of the use of force if certain actions are taken. Police officers do this every day with violent suspects, warning them that force will be used if they take violent action. Governments throughout all of human history have warned of consequences for behavior. This is called “the criminal justice system.” This is universally recognized as a legitimate government function. Twitter knows this.
Twitter’s silly virtue signaling does not satisfy the Left and irritates the Right, which is why a huge number of conservatives have been setting up accounts on Parler the last couple weeks. The real purpose, of course, is for Twitter to say “Orange Man Bad.” That is no way to run a social media site.
With all of that said, Trump would be better off deactivating his Twitter account. The people who love his tweets are going to vote for him anyway, so nothing is gained by pleasing them. However, Trump is irritating and pushing away voters he needs to win re-election. Some would argue that Twitter is the only way Trump can directly reach his voters, and it would be a positive thing for him if he could control his impulsive behavior. He is unable or unwilling to do that, so Twitter is a net negative. He needs to stop giving people reason to believe he is mentally and emotionally unfit for office.