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This Account Tweeted Trump's Own Words. It Got Suspended

It took less than 72 hours for @SuspendThePres to get shut down, albeit temporarily
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2020 9:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Twitter has been trying to get a handle on President Trump's tweets, fact-checking some and slapping a shield over another for "glorifying violence." But as USA Today notes, the platform won't suspend the president's account, a non-move that's drawn criticism from many who say if they'd tweeted what he has, they would've long ago seen their accounts shuttered. A social media experiment throws some weight behind that likelihood. On May 29, the newly formed @SuspendThePres Twitter account posted the following: "This account will tweet what the President tweets. Let's see if it gets suspended for violating twitters TOS." It asked followers to report any tweets that seemingly flout the site's rules. "[I] figured what better way to test out the hypothesis than to see if they suspended me for the exact same language," the person behind the account tells Mashable, declining to be identified.

The account started copying and pasting Trump's tweets verbatim, and about 68 hours later, the account was suspended—for tweeting Trump's "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" tweet, which had itself received the "glorifying violence" shield but remained online. @SuspendThePres took down its own tweet and had full functionality restored 12 hours later. Charlie Warzel, meanwhile, muses in the New York Times that a Twitter ban would "introduce at least some friction" to Trump's communications strategy, but he believes that banning Trump "won't fix the deeper structural problems that have created our information apocalypse"—which includes a vicious cycle of inflammatory tweets that are permitted by social media platforms and amplified by the media. "For that, we're going to need a far bigger reckoning." (Read more President Trump stories.)

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