On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted a video of him pummeling someone outside of a wrestling ring—with that person’s face blocked out by the CNN logo.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
Even if it’s not a direct threat of violence against the journalists who work for CNN, it’s certainly a celebration of violence.
Does the president know what he’s doing? Absolutely: on Saturday he tweeted,
My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017
These latest messages came came on the heels of a bizarre barrage of tweets—disturbing even by the president’s loose standards—that have many experts (if they hadn’t already) beginning to have concerns about Trump’s mental health.
Beginning on June 29, Trump began tweeting repeated insults at Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the hosts of the MSNBC talk show, Morning Joe. Trump’s treatment of Brzezinski was particularly vile and degrading. In addition to calling her “dumb,” “crazy,” and “low I.Q.” in three separate tweets, he claimed that she and Scarborough traveled to Mar-a-Lago for New Year’s Eve and insisted on seeing Trump while Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” (Brzezinski and Scarborough published a rebuke in The Washington Post, calling the president’s claim “a lie,” and photographs from the evening prove it.)
Now look at Twitter’s terms of service:
- Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
- Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Some of the factors that we may consider when evaluating abusive behavior include:
- if a primary purpose of the reported account is to harass or send abusive messages to others;
- if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats;
- if the reported account is inciting others to harass another account; and
- if the reported account is sending harassing messages to an account from multiple accounts.
- Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.
The Atlantic asks a provocative question:
When one of the people involved in a Twitter fight isn’t just a public official but also the president of the United States, is it fair to consider anyone he’s attacking an equal player in a fight?
We know what Trump would say. This is a man whose 2007 book Never Give Up has multiple chapters dedicated to the subject of fighting with people. There’s Chapter 5 (“I Love a Good Fight”) and Chapter 29 (“You Will Be Attacked For Trying to Change Anything”) and Chapter 38 (“When You’re Attacked, Bite Back”). If Trump doesn’t like what a person says about him, he attacks them. Period.
What do you think?
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