US Organizations Request Twitter CEO to Suspend Trump's Account Over 'Misinformation'
US President Donald Trump and Twitter have long been engaged in a stormy relationship, with the social media platform repeatedly labeling and removing Trump's contents, and POTUS accusing Twitter of being owned by "the Radical Left" and biased toward conservatives.
As calls to suspend Trump's account over what is seen by some as "misinformation" were earlier voiced by Democrats, civic rights group Common Cause, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, have filed a joint letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey demanding that the POTUS account be shuttered.
"We fear that, in the absence of action by Twitter, the president may be successful in his goal of delegitimizing the integrity of our democratic processes for many, and not just Twitter users but other voters and members of the public, sowing uncertainty about the voting and elections process, and potentially inciting violence against civil servants or others", the letter read.
The groups referred to Twitter's Civic Integrity Policy, citing that it "forbids misleading claims about the results or outcome of a civic process which calls for or could lead to interference with the implementation of the results of the process” as well as disallowing “inciting unlawful conduct to prevent the procedural or practical implementation of election results".
The possibility that Twitter could remove Donald Trump's account in the event of the incumbent president losing the Oval Office to Democratic candidate Joe Biden was mulled in a report by The Independent, citing what it describes as Trump overstepping the policies of the platform.
As Trump's tweets continue to be flagged by Twitter and named "disputed", the report alleges that his account would be suspended if Trump is no longer "a candidate or current holder of political office". According to The Independent, the only thing preventing Trump's account from a ban is the Twitter criteria for the public interest, which include the verified account, having just over 100,000 followers, and being a government official.
"The rate of violations would typically lead to an account suspension, either temporarily or permanently. However, public figures are protected by a “public-interest exception” policy", the report said.
While Trump's flagged tweets have lower engagement and are not immediately displayed in his feed, they still remain accessible, with Twitter noting that it is done due to the public interest in the contents of the tweets of an American president.
Following the election, Trump and his campaign staff have been rolling out Twitter tirades accusing Democrats of trying to "steal the election" and demanding a stop to the ongoing count of absentee ballots that were delivered after election day. POTUS also claimed victories in several key battleground states, including North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Georgia, disputing media calls projecting early outcomes, as vote count is ongoing.
Practically all of those tweets were labeled by Twitter with notes saying: "Official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted" and "This claim about election fraud is disputed".
In one of his flagged tweets on Thursday, Trump asserted that "all of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud", citing "plenty of proof" in the media. The flagging of this tweet raised eyebrows among some social media users who wondered what exactly was seen by Twitter as a violation, accusing the platform of restricting free speech.
Twitter flagging falls in line with the Democrats echoing allegations of "misinformation" and demanding Trump's posts be blocked, while Joe Biden has repeatedly insisted that every vote must be counted, urging people to stay calm and wait for the results.
"Donald Trump does not decide the outcome of this election and nor do I. The American people decide", Biden said.
The Trump campaign voiced concerns over what it claims is "election fraud" and "massive cheating", announcing lawsuits in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia, and demanding vote counting stop for ballots that were delivered after Election Day. The Trump campaign has also demanded access to vote tally rooms where absentee ballots are being counted for Republican observers.
The incumbent president has been famously sceptical toward social media platforms, especially Twitter and Facebook, denouncing them for shading the "prominent Republicans" and "the Radical Left bias".