The Twitter account @SuspendThePres, which tweets the exact same words as President Donald Trump, was set up to determine if Twitter’s algorithms would flag it as inappropriate.
It achieved its goal in less than three days, after posting Trump’s May 29 tweet describing protesters as “THUGS” and threatening violent intervention in Minneapolis.
Twitter hit the account with a 12-hour lock approximately 68 hours later and deleted its version of the president’s “THUGS” tweet. According to the account holder, who also tweets as @BizarreLazer, Twitter’s reasoning for the violation was “glorifying violence.”
Experiment Update - Account just now coming off a 12 hour suspension. Took roughly 68 hours for Twitter to suspend me. The violating tweet has been deleted. Twitters reasoning for the violation? Glorifying violence. Experiment will continue. DMs will remain open. Thank you. https://t.co/fuxJFMERgP— Will they suspend me? (@SuspendThePres) June 2, 2020
Trump’s tweet was flagged for the same reason, but it remains online — albeit branded with a disclaimer indicating that “it may be in the public’s interest for the tweet to remain accessible.” There’s also a disclaimer on the official White House account’s version of the tweet, which was cross-posted from Trump’s account.
A Twitter spokesperson told HuffPost that Trump’s status as a world leader made his tweet of public interest despite violating the platform’s rules, and cited twoblog posts from Twitter detailing its policies on the subject.
“This isn’t a Trump rule — we’ve applied this previously,” the spokesperson said, citing an example from April in which Brazilian politician Osmar Terra tweeted that quarantine measures would only increase cases of COVID-19.
This echoes the statement the @TwitterComms account supplied in May, which argued that “it is important that the public still be able to see the tweet given its relevance to ongoing...