Supporters of Donald Trump were sent into an internet frenzy last week when Twitter officials stated that they would consider banning the president-elect should he violate the site's rules. But as the #BanTrump movement calls for the social media giant to follow through on that threat, Wired argues that Trump remaining on Twitter is in fact a good thing in that it provides an unadulterated view into his truth-averse mind. What's more, given that Trump hasn't held a press conference since July, it may be the only view we get.
“In the absence of formal press conferences and briefings to news media, his tweets are all we got," Shyam Sundar, the co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University, told the publication. "So, it’s natural for us to hang on to every word he tweets because that could provide a glimpse into Trump’s America — the shape of things to come under his administration, which is fraught with uncertainty at this time of transition.”
Basically, the argument goes, Trump's harassment of union leader Chuck Jones after Jones called out Trump's questionable claims regarding a Carrier manufacturer deal shows us how insanely petty he is. And this is important information. That his supporters responded to the president-elect's tweet by calling and threatening Jones is just the price we have to pay for that piece of insight.
How bad were the threats? “Nothing that says they’re gonna kill me, but, you know, 'you better keep your eye on your kids,' ” Jones explained while being interviewed on MSNBC. “ 'We know what car you drive.' Things along those lines.”
This is not the first time that Trump has unleashed vitriol with a tweet. He went after Fox News anchor Megan Kelly in August, and NPR reports that death threats quickly followed. "What people don't realize about Donald Trump — and I don't even know if Donald Trump realizes it — is that every tweet he unleashes against you ... creates such a crescendo of anger." Kelly told Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
According to BuzzFeed, this is exactly the sort of thing that violates Twitter's rules against "[inciting] or [engaging] in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.” Regardless of this, it is unlikely that Twitter will actually ban @realDonaldTrump or @POTUS after he gains control of that account in January. Well, barring Trump specifically calling for violence against an individual on the platform, that is.
Up until now that sort of behavior has just been reserved for his rallies, and unfortunately Twitter can't stop him from giving those.