After a year that has seen threats on social media in politics spiral out of control, Twitter today announced it will be removing posts wishing harm or death to President Donald J. Trump while the President continues recovering from COVID-19. The service today issued a warning to all users under its “Twitter Comms” account. One of the most egregious posts of the week was made by the Washington Post, who tweeted an article saying, “Imagine what it would be like to never have to think about President Trump again.”
The newspaper eventually removed that tweet after it was posted on Thursday, blaming an automated system glitch.
“The Post has removed a tweet pictured below, which was written Thursday and released through an automated program, because the subsequent news of President Trump’s infection rendered it tasteless,” the left-leaning newspaper said after removing the distasteful tweet.
Twitter then announced shortly afterward, along with TikTok and Facebook that the service would start taking action on posts wishing ill-will of the President during his illness.
“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,” Twitter said.
Hateful and disgusting tweets from America’s left have been non-stop on the social media service, including some high ranking officials in America’s government such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who mocked the post by Twitter. The company later released a formal statement.
“Abuse and harassment have no place on Twitter,” Twitter said in a statement. “We do not tolerate content that wishes, hopes or expresses a desire for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against an individual or group of people. If we identify accounts that violate these rules, we will take enforcement action.”
“Seriously though, this is messed up. The death threats towards us should have been taking more seriously by Twitter,” Rashida Tlaib AOC’s political ally said.
Texas Democrat and State Representative Gene Wu posted, then deleted a tweet saying, “Hard to serve a prison sentence if you’re dead.”
“Looks like somebody should be more consistent with wearing a mask like our next POTUS @JoeBiden! #VOTE,” tweeted Georgia Democrat Senator Senator Nikema Williams, who is running for Congress.
“HOW do you test positive for a Democratic Hoax?” asked actress Yvette Nicole Brown.
Jimmy Kimmel tweeted, “Does anyone know why @Mike_Pence is running around in circles, throwing little pieces of Wonder bread in the air?”
“Wishing harm, sickness or death on someone, even a bad person, is petty & small. BUT: it is genuinely & extremely funny that Trump got COVID. It’s objectively funny. He downplayed it & mishandled it & thousands of people died. Now he has it. It’s funny,” tweeted liberal comedian Paul F. Tompkins.
Democrats lashed out at Twitter claiming the sudden policy shift is a double standard that didn’t exist when they were being harassed by users on the right.
“Save it. I’ve been trying to stop deaths in my state for months, while Trump has led the people here to poison each other. If he does die (not something I’m hoping for btw) – his death will send a message that will save other lives,” said a twitter account, Justice for Breonna.
Star Trek actor George Takei used the news of Trump’s infection to make a morale statement about the President, “Actually, I’m angry. I’m angry at the way Trump mocked masks, how his children refused to wear them even at the debate, how they’ve held rallies and put so many at risk, how reporters for the WH are now coming down with it. It’s a pattern of callous, gross negligence. I’m angry.”