Terms of Service

Jay Willis at GQ says Twitter had oughta shut down Donnie’s Twitter before he sets off the nuclear holocaust.

One of the biggest irritants to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, apparently, has been Donald Trump’s “provocations” on social media. The country’s vice foreign minister ominously declared that the president “makes trouble” with his “aggressive” tweets, warning that his government is ready for war if Trump wants the same. Here’s the evidence, complete with an inane “U.S.A.” coda, like Trump briefly got caught up in another late-night viewing of that 30 for 30 about the Miracle on Ice:

The “U.S.A.” is a strikingly stupid touch – as if this were a god damn football game, or a plain old unsublimated undisguised dick-waving contest.

Thankfully, there is a hero who could, in theory, help save the world from suffering an ignominious death by tweet: Twitter, which could suspend or [shudders in delight at the mere possibility] ban him altogether. Here, straight from the Twitter Rules, which are incorporated by reference into the Terms of Service:

You may not make threats of violence; it’s right there. I don’t see a clause that says “unless you’re the president of the US.” That’s very sensible, because presidents should especially not make threats of violence, because they have the means to carry them out. If presidents are going to make threats of violence they need to do that through the proper channels, which do not include Twitter.

(And seriously. There’s a ragey kind of amusement in this but there’s a much profounder disgust. This childish incompetent lunatic is threatening nuclear war on Twitter. That’s where we are. Somehow we elected a childish incompetent lunatic president, and presidents can send nukes, so this is where we are. This narcissistic ignorant bullying bozo could destroy the planet just because he can’t stop running his horrible mouth.)

The president has, ahem, arguably used Twitter to violateseveral of these rules before. But for now, focus on that first bullet point. I realize that when Twitter’s lawyers put this thing together, “global nuclear war” was probably not within the scope of the “violence” that they intended to bar users from promoting. But I’m also going to go out on a limb here and say that that should probably count as violence. If, as here, there is evidence that the president is using Twitter to provoke a dangerous, war-happy nut job into putting millions of lives in jeopardy, it’s fair to ask whether the service should respond—for the good of humankind—by locking him down for a while.

It sounds jokey but…it isn’t. If only it were.

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