If you or I tweeted the kind of stuff that Donald Trump does, our accounts would be suspended and we’d most likely be banned for life from the platform. But it seems that Twitter doesn’t dare expel the president. Kara Swisher has a sensible view of this:
It so happens that in recent weeks, including at a fancy-pants Washington dinner party this past weekend, I have been testing my companions with a hypothetical scenario. My premise has been to ask what Twitter management should do if Mr. Trump loses the 2020 election and tweets inaccurately the next day that there had been widespread fraud and, moreover, that people should rise up in armed insurrection to keep him in office.
Most people I have posed this question to have had the same response: Throw Mr. Trump off Twitter for inciting violence. A few have said he should be only temporarily suspended to quell any unrest. Very few said he should be allowed to continue to use the service without repercussions if he was no longer the president. One high-level government official asked me what I would do. My answer: I would never have let it get this bad to begin with.
Now my hypothetical game has come much closer to reality. In using a quote to hide behind what he was actually trying to say, Mr. Trump was testing the system, using a tactic that is enormously dangerous.
She’s right. The interesting thing is that fanatical Brexiteers are beginning to use the same tactic in the UK — suggesting that if they are denied their dream, then the country will be drowned in gore. But at the moment, they use MPs and tabloid newspapers rather than Twitter to make the threat.