I ran an informal poll last week, which was motivated by my read of Twitter’s rules. Before I get to the poll, here are some of characteristics of posts that would count as violations of Twitter’s rules:
Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.
Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.
Why might 78% of the people who responded to the poll feel this way? One could argue that this tweet from the President-elect is targeted harassment, and promotes violence:
Likewise, I’d venture that if you were Alicia Machado, being called “disgusting”, and the baseless allegation of a sex tape, constitutes hateful conduct:
Lest you think that these tweets are the exception rather than the norm, take a look at the comprehensive list of insults from the President-elect that was compiled by the New York Times in December of 2016.
We’ve also seen this year that exchanges over Twitter have been used to threaten nuclear war. It’s not inconceivable to think that the President-elect’s careless use of Twitter could one day result in a threat to U.S. national security.
The soon-to-be President’s behavior on Twitter is not normal. For what little it may be worth, I personally think he should be banned from Twitter.
It’s Tuesday, the 10th of January, 2017.