Since news broke of President Donald Trump contracting COVID-19, Twitter is doubling down on its policy to suspend any accounts that wish death on the president. Trump has received hundreds of death wishes after announcing that he and First Lady Melania Trump both tested positive for COVID-19.
“Tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against anyone are not allowed and will be removed, this does not automatically mean suspension,” the company tweeted following the influx of death wishes towards the president.
Since March, more than 200,000 people have died in the United States due to COVID-19. Many people feel like Trump hasn’t put in enough effort to slow the rates down or find a vaccine that will cure the virus. In response, Twitter users took their frustrations with Trump in hoping that he doesn’t recover from the virus.
Referencing the theory that scenes from The Simpsons have predicted cultural events, Twitter user @dwl_jamaica tweeted “C’mon Simpsons don’t fail me now, take Trump.”
Death threats aren’t to be wished upon anyone, although the policy is hypocritical. Harmful words, and violence is nothing new to the Twitter platform, and leaves users wondering why doesn’t the policy apply to everyone, not just the president. Obviously it’s because he has a position of power.
It’s no secret that Trump has malicious ways. He has made jokes about others’ health plenty of times, including mocking Hillary Clinton when she was suffering with pneumonia back in 2016, yet his account has never been suspended. Users feel as if all threats of any kind should result in suspension, no matter who it is.
Twitter has approximately 1.3 billion active users, many of which have received the same vicious threats. Even when the tweets were reported, the accounts were neither suspended nor taken down. Each and every account should be taken just as seriously as Trump’s death threats. Why don’t all rules apply for every user? Because Twitter limits who the policy pertains to.
“Seriously though, this is messed up. The death threats towards us should have been taken more seriously by @Twittercomms,” Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib tweeted.
Since 2018, Tlaib, along with several other Congresswomen, have been victims of Twitter threats, such as “you should be tried for treason and I hope they hang you.” Twitter clearly didn’t see a problem then, which is very contradicting.
Along with Tlaib, numerous users also agreed that Twitter’s policy is unfair and misleading.
This double standard is a major issue, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Twitter should be held accountable for their one-sided policy and protect all users in order to consider this a policy.
After multiple users contacted Twitter’s communications team, the company apologized for not making all their users feel as if the policy is consistent. They are working together to ensure improvements.