Well, this didn’t take long, Less than two hours, in point of fact, for Donald Trump to lash back at Twitter for slapping a fact check label on his tweets about mail-in ballots being fraudulent. And it’s pure gibberish laced with paranoia, which the base will lap up with a spoon — but it won’t help Trump’s quandary, which is that Twitter is reining in the worst aspects of the conspiracy theory that he drops into the public conversation like it was a sugar cube in tea.
….Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020
Twitter is a publicly owned company, meaning that it sells shares of stock, so the yous and mes can buy a piece of it. But its owner, Jack Dorsey, and board of directors decides what the rules are are and they can bounce Trump off of their website for abuse of their rules anytime they want to. And right now, apparently, they’re playing the role of adult in the room, appropriately, since it’s their site, and admonishing people to check out the facts.
On Tuesday, Twitter added a warning phrase to two Trump tweets that called mail-in ballots “fraudulent” and predicted that “mail boxes will be robbed,” among other things. Under the tweets, there is now a link reading “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” that guides users to a Twitter “moments” page with fact checks and news stories about Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.
The move comes after years in which Twitter has declined to apply its community guidelines and other rules of the road to the 45th U.S. president. It’s too soon to tell whether this action represents a turning point for Twitter in its treatment of Trump. But the warning labels suggest that the president has finally crossed a line that the company was not willing to move for him.
The problem here, is that Donald Trump doesn’t know anything about business, other than his closely held family real estate business, and we know how well he managed that. He declared bankruptcy six times. He’s never read the United States constitution and I can guarantee you that he has no idea what using a private platform on the internet is all about — and that “free speech” guarantees are only applicable when the GOVERNMENT is the one who “stifles” it. Twitter is a private platform — just like little PolitiZoom, here. And Jack Dorsey can bounce you off into the cornfield at wil — as can I. The government doesn’t own or control social media or the internet — yet. That is where Trump would like to go, no question. But whether he can get there between now and November, with Americans dropping like flies from COVID-19 and the economy in the toilet is the question.
My instinct is that Trump has used and abused Twitter as much as he’s going to. I could be wrong. But many have been calling for Jack Dorsey to ban Trump in recent days because of his insistence on pressing the absurd conspiracy theory about Joe Scarborough murdering an aide — and Trump and Scarborough used to be friends and allies. I mention this only so that you get reminded, once more, about the tranactional basis of all of Trump’s “relationships” and how he will stop at nothing to deflect from his own abysmal failures. Take note. It is now late May, 2020 and you will see this behavior escalate and expand in the months between now and Election Day, because Trump has to take the spotlight off himself. He has no choice. Donald Trump is a cornered rat and the fact that Twitter, of all people, is rattling his cage, and threatening abandonment, scares the living hell out of him.