To establish that Twitter is lenient on its popular users that abuse its policies, a user (@BizzareLazar) used an account named ‘Will They Suspend Me’ (@SuspendThePres) to conduct an experiment by posting in verbatim what President Donald Trump tweets.
This account will tweet what the President tweets. Let’s see if it gets suspended for violating twitters TOS. Follow along with this social experiment. Report any tweets that violate the rules. Thank you.
— Will they suspend me? (@SuspendThePres) May 30, 2020
The account does not send retweets unless Trump adds a comment.
The experiment, as you have guessed, is in line with Trump’s Twitter use case. He has been accused of posting false statements or stories that promote violence. To this end, Twitter, probably from external pressure, was compelled to tag the tweets with a Fact-check tool that has since been called ‘an interference to speech’ by the President.
Now, back to the account. The user wanted to see how long it would take Twitter to suspend them. Of course, this is the perfect time for such an experiment based on what is going on in the US (people have been rioting to promote Black Lives Matter following a cruel death of George Floyd under the hands of white police).
This man started an account where he tweets exactly what the president tweets. He just got suspended. https://t.co/KPd9Od1zTE
— Dylan Marron (@dylanmarron) June 3, 2020
Trump then tweeted that’s the riots in Minneapolis were tainting the memory of Floyd, adding that ‘when the looting starts, the shooting start.’
The threat, obviously, was uncalled for, so Twitter suspended the Tweet.
The President’s account was not suspended for obvious reasons. The reasons were amplified by the account named above, which saw it suspended for 12 hours.
Twitter then compelled the ‘author’ to delete the tweet.
Experiment Update – Well it finally happened. Took longer than expected. 12 hour suspension and had to delete the offending tweet. Here’s the screenshots @suspendthepres. Will post to the account when suspension is lifted. pic.twitter.com/wvKV9HDKBn
— Bizarre Lazar (@BizarreLazar) June 1, 2020
The account is also planning to run the same experiment on Facebook. Facebook has also been on the spotlight because it failed to flag any controversial posts by Trump. Some employees have since left the company. They have supported their decisions as the right thing to do because the Zuckerberg-run social media platform turns a blind eye on messages, controversial or otherwise because they are newsworthy.
For your information, 2020 is only halfway through. The US will be staging elections in November, an in typical Trump fashion, he is going to use social media to push his agenda as he did in 2016.
Buckle up, and watch social media giants sink into a dilemma.