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.”
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.