Twitter has denounced as a platform policy violation all tweets expressing a wish for US President Donald Trump’s death following his announcement that he and First Lady Melania Trump have been diagnosed with coronavirus.
The social media platform tweeted on Friday that “wishing or hoping serious harm on a person or group of people” went against its “Abusive Behavior policy”, with such posts liable to be removed.
tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against *anyone* are not allowed and will need to be removed. this does not automatically mean suspension. https://t.co/lQ8wWGL2y0 https://t.co/P2vGfUeUQf— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) October 2, 2020
The current policy had been in place since April, applicable to all users, and not just in connection with the recent developments surrounding Donald Trump, a spokesman for the company was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
The spokesperson elaborated that while some users would be suspended, the company will not be acting on every tweet.
“We’re prioritizing the removal of content when it has a clear call to action that could potentially cause real-world harm,” the spokesperson was cited by The Motherboard as saying.
It was later added that people who explicitly express wishes for the president to die may have to remove their tweets and may have their account put into a “read only” mode.
As wishes of well-being for Donald Trump and his spouse have been flooding in from all across the globe, many people on Twitter, including his Democratic opponent in the November elections Joe Biden, also wished him a speedy recovery.
However, there were those who in no uncertain terms voiced the hope that Trump dies from the virus. Incensed users of the social media platform lambasted the President for having initially downplayed the dangers of the novel respiratory disease that has killed more than 200,000 people in the United States.
The country has currently registered over 7, 333 000 cases of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
I hope he dies and I hope he burns in hell— eddie “the spectre haunting the south” edge. 🌹👻 (@edwardnelson4tn) October 2, 2020
Taking a shit on his grave will be glorious.— Abajo el Bipartidismo 🇵🇷 (@nizfnord) October 2, 2020
Can I like a tweet about him kicking the can?— trumpTrashCan (@gutter_rat4life) October 2, 2020
While some worried about the violating the Twitter policy, others seemed less concerned.
life's too short to worry about twitter bans pic.twitter.com/VvOPv29SJ8— Riccardo (@Virzeth) October 2, 2020
The current policy announcement from Twitter was slammed as hypocritical by others, who pointed out that some users, particularly in marginalized communities, regularly receive death threats with little response from the company.
WHAT ABOUT ALL THE RAPE THREATS????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????— Yo IMPEACHED ASS President Is A Child Rapist. (@PerdvertParty) October 2, 2020
-asking for a few demographics
Did you remove it when ppl said we have to sacrifice the medically vulnerable to avoid covid lock downs?— 30-50 Spooky 🕸 Coronas (@expelliarmoire) October 3, 2020
Nevertheless, in light of the rule refresher, many on Twitter were undeterred, expressing their sentiments in censored versions.
personally , despite the Twitter rule I will say * **** ** ****.— Sophia Benoit (@1followernodad) October 2, 2020
In the immortal words of Ivan Drago, "** ** ****, ** ****"— Devilish Ledoux (@Devilishlydo) October 3, 2020
I’d he suffer a rather long, isolated hospitalization with long lasting chronic issues that aren’t enough to keep him from standing trial and going to prison. But that’s just how I roll.— kaboombox (@ImKaBoomBOX) October 3, 2020
I've been hearing this in my head all day. https://t.co/rg5FLuEHkz
well it’s certainly a fingers crossed situation !— charlie (@chunkbardey) October 2, 2020
After his Friday announcement that both he and the First Lady had tested positive for COVID-19, President Donald Trump arrived at the Walter Reed Military Medical Center where he is scheduled to continue working from the hospital’s presidential offices over the next several days.
According to a White House statement, Trump, who reportedly remains in good spirits, is experiencing mild symptoms, and shall continue to work through the presidential election in November and will remain on the presidential ballot.