Is Trump Trying to Stifle Your Free Speech But Not His?

May 28, 2020 | By Paul Mackenzie Ross | Filed in: social media.
TLDR; Trump didn’t like one of his tweets getting a “fact check” label so now he’s absolutely seething and potentially just about to do something ironic/draconian/stupid.
If you haven’t been following the story, it goes like this:
In July 2001 one of the staff of then Republican congressman Joe Scarborough was found dead in his office in Forida. The 28 year old Lori Klausutis had fallen and hit her head on a desk. The medical examiner ruled that the death was accidental due to a previously undiagnosed heart problem. Case closed on a very tragic death.
Joe Scarborough and his wife were once friends of Trump. But since leaving congress and hosting the MSNBC show “Morning Joe”, the husband and wife team became critics of the now President Trump.
Trump, who the common people are unable to label as a sociopath and that other issue of narcissistic personality disorder, due to something called the Goldwater rule in section 7 of the American Psychiatric Association’s “Principles of Medical Ethics”, is very obviously a thin-skinned sociopath and narcissist. He didn’t like the criticism from Joe Scarborough and his wife so he shot back in spite. In typical Trump fashion, it was an incredibly nasty backlash, even though he’s the first and loudest when to accusing others of doing so.
Fast forward to 12th May 2020: Trump spits out a tweet, a conspiracy theory about the death of Lori Klausutis. He questions whether the authorities should reopen the case and investigate Joe Scarborough for murder. Trump brands Scarborough a “psycho” and “a total nut job”. Oh the irony. It needs to be added here that the sad death occurred in Florida whilst Scarborough was in Washington DC at the time.
By May 21st, Lori Klausutis’ widowed husband, Timothy, wrote a letter to Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, imploring him to take down the Presidents tweets on the conspiracy. The man’s heartfelt plea was based upon the pain of seeing his wife’s name used in political point-scoring and the fear of younger member of his family seeing these baseless comments in the future. He even reviewed Twitter’s terms of service and concluded that Trump violated them. He asked purely that the offending Trump tweets be removed. After all, if conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones can be removed from multiple social media platforms then removing a couple of Trump’s offensive tweets is nothing by comparison.

Twitter refused to take down just the offending tweets and said no violation of it’s TOS had occurred. However, the company did say it was “…working to expand existing product features and policies…” and that some action on this would soon be in place. To be clear, these at the time as yet unused policies, date back to June 2019. Twitter basically said that it would allow tweets that violated its TOS remain for the public interest but that in rare circumstances it could label specific tweets.

At this point it’s good to remember that Trump has a massive track record of lying, apparently over 18,000 lies have been recorded since he came to office. Yet not one of his tweets has officially been labelled as misleading by Twitter. It had considered and started to use the label after misleading information on coronavirus had been posted by left and right wing south American leaders. But still not Trump.

That is until the President of the USA restated his resistance to “mail-in ballots” in a tweet on 26th May 2020. He called them outright “fraudulent”, harping on forgery, illegal printing and robbery. Then for the first time Twitter added a fact-checking label and link to his tweet.

Trump tweet labelled

Donald was having none of this. Despite a number of notable temporary and permanent suspensions, Twitter has given Trump free rein during his tenure of the White House. And yet a simple fact check has thrown this thin-skinned narcissist into such a frenzy that he is now considering taking some sort of action against the social media companies. Allegedly.

Remember also that just one member of the team at Twitter who was involved in the company’s approach to misleading information, their Head of Site Integrity, was singled out by White House adviser, Kelly Anne Conway. On Fox News nonetheless she basically asked viewers to “go after him”. Since then Yoel Roth has “…faced an explosion of death threats”.
So it’s OK for Trump to broadcast lies and misleading information to millions of followers, as always amplified by the media, and yet it is NOT OK to point out that what he said was misleading?!
What’s he going to do about it? He’s been allowed his “free speech” and labels, name calls, denigrates and derides any who dare object to him. Yet if you stand up and point out that something isn’t right, you’re subject to attack calls and death threats?!
If he’s mad that you dare try hold him to account then you should be absolutely furious that he and his cronies might want you dead.

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