People are calling on Twitter to suspend President Donald Trump’s account, saying his recent statements on North Korea are threats that violate the social media platform’s terms of service.
On Friday, Trump tweeted that U.S. “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
Critics of the president’s tweet say the rhetoric reflects a threat of violence against North Korea that violates Twitter’s rules and terms of service, the Washington Post reported. They are using the hashtag #bantrump
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Some of the more vocal critics include actor Kal Penn and Ellen Pao, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and former CEO of Reddit.
“Hey @Twitter, is threatening nuclear war not a violation of terms of service?” tweeted Penn, who is a former associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement under Barack Obama. “Seems pretty clear that you can't threaten mass murder via nuclear war, right @twitter? Asking for 7.4 billion friends.”
And Pao wrote in a Medium essay titled “Dear @Jack: It’s Time To Suspend Donald Trump From Twitter”: “@realdonaldtrump is bringing out the worst of Twitter — the company, the platform, and its users. He’s using his manipulation skills and your platform to bully others, and to incite supporters to harass people — both on Twitter and in real life.”
“As the leader of the United States, Trump should know and do better. But he hasn’t, and he won’t. As the leader of Twitter, you, Jack, should by suspending him. No one else can.”
Twitter declined to comment.
“We do not comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons,” a Twitter spokesperson told Mic.
Later in the weekend, Trump drew criticism for the way he responded to Saturday’s violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacist groups and counterprotesters. Three people died, and dozens were injured.
Even as many people online called for Trump to respond, his Twitter feed remained quiet into Saturday morning as the Charlottesville clashes escalated into open brawls and weapons being hurled into the air.
“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!” Trump tweeted hours later.
Twitter has taken a very pro-free speech stance, Timothy Edgar, senior fellow in international and public affairs at Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, said in a Mic interview.
“Twitter should just apply its terms of service in the same exact way as they would apply to any other Twitter user,” he said. “Under that standard, I think it’s pretty unlikely Twitter would ban Donald Trump.”
This isn’t the first time people have accused Trump of violating Twitter’s rules.
Last month, he tweeted a fake video of a wrestling match in which he takes down one of his media targets, CNN. Critics accused him of advocating violence against the media.