Petition Demands Twitter Delete Trump’s Account for Hate Speech
Donald Trump isn’t known for being nice on social media. If fact, his unapologetic take-no-prisoners approach to attacking anyone and everyone online is now arguably legendary.
Still, despite having ample likes and retweets, there’s an outspoken hive of opponents who loathe Trump’s online presence. In an effort to end Trump’s tweeting once and for all, one man is taking aim at his account.
Erick Sanchez, of Washington D.C., started a Change.org petition calling for Twitter to delete the presumptive presidential nominee’s page on the grounds that is hate speech and therefore should be banned in accordance with Twitter’s general policies.
In the petition, Sanchez cites Twitter’s policies listed under “hateful conduct,” which read:
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.
Based on said policy, Sanchez reasons that it is Twitter’s responsibility to delete Trump’s account.
Mr. Trump, in under (and over) 140 characters, has exhibited conduct that runs contrary to these rules, and the signers of this petition humbly ask for Twitter’s consideration in the deletion of his account. This is not a matter of stifling his first amendment rights, unlike how he has impeded on the first amendment by revoking the access of media outlets to his events.
In the past Twitter has labeled itself a champion of free speech, however, in 2015 the social network adjusted its policies in order to snuff out abusive and hateful speech. Now Twitter no longer promises uncensored service for its users.
The petition, which as of Monday had over 230 supporters, needs roughly 270 more cosigners to reach its goal.
This isn’t Sanchez’s first petition against Trump. He previously launched a campaign urging restaurateur and chef José Andrés, who is of Spanish decent, to “dump Trump” following the candidate’s insensitive remarks against Mexican immigrants. At the time, Andrés was set to join the billionaire in a luxury hotel venture in Washington D.C. Less than a week later, the celebrity chef pulled out of the development.
It’s hard to imagine that this petition will have the same outcome–barring a major politician from social media is unprecedented. Even so, Twitter should take policing its own policies seriously, especially when it comes to spreading hate speech online.