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"A tweet starts WWIII?" San Franciscans nail Twitter for enabling Trump

Donald Trump’s increasingly unstable threats — including his latest threatening nuclear war — have become the responsibility of not just the Republican Party, but also the social media company giving him an unfiltered platform. For that reason, activists are starting to turn their attention to Twitter. On Tuesday, a Bay Area group called Resistance SF […]

By Matthew Chapman - January 05, 2018
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Protest at Twitter headquarters

Donald Trump’s increasingly unstable threats — including his latest threatening nuclear war — have become the responsibility of not just the Republican Party, but also the social media company giving him an unfiltered platform.

For that reason, activists are starting to turn their attention to Twitter.

On Tuesday, a Bay Area group called Resistance SF descended on Twitter’s headquarters following his “bigger button” tweet and projected messages on the side of the building: “Be a hero: Ban Trump,” “Endangers the world,” and “A tweet starts WWIII?”

Resistance SF also called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to resign, posting to their Facebook page that he has “enabled @realDonaldTrump from his first dog whistles in the birther movement to his latest nuclear pissing contest.”

Twitter has undeniably been a useful tool of democratic participation, linking up like-minded activists of all political persuasions around the world. But in recent years, Twitter has come under heavy criticism for selective enforcement of its own terms of service, reacting slowly to the presence of neo-Nazis and hate group leaders, serial harassment of women and people of color, and the proliferation of fake accounts run by Russian troll farms to influence the 2016 presidential election.

But one of Twitter’s most controversial decisions is to allow the continued existence of  Trump’s account, which has repeatedly violated the site’s policy against threats of violence or physical harm. It is hard to think of a more blatant threat of violence than the president of the United States bragging he can launch nuclear weapons.

One possible reason Twitter has done nothing could be that, according to the calculations of one analyst, the free advertising created by Trump’s controversial tweets amounts to over $2 billion in market value for the company. But a nuclear war would cost the world much, much more than $2 billion.

It is time for Twitter to take action in the public interest and truly curtail hate and violence on its medium. And Americans are telling Twitter loud and clear that should begin with the rogue tweeter in the White House.


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