Voting rights organizations call on Twitter to suspend President Trump’s Twitter account for spreading disinformation and sowing unrest

Trump’s Twitter
The top of President Donald Trump’s Twitter page shows one of many Tweets that have been flagged. – The Dallas Examiner screenshot/Courtesy of social media page

 

Special to The Dallas Examiner

 

Common Cause and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Nov. 5 to suspend the Twitter account of President Donald Trump.

The groups, which represented non-partisan organizations nationwide that strive to safeguard political participation for all Americans, cited Trump’s repeated violations of Twitter’s Civic Integrity Policy. It accused him of spreading disinformation about the 2020 election to millions of Twitter users online.

More specifically, the letter pointed to Trump’s repeated attempts to disrupt the proper counting of ballots, undermine the democratic process and stir unrest through his tweets.

“We are a democracy and democracies count all the votes. But the president is freely using his Twitter account in an attempt to deliberately undermine the nation’s vote count and undercut Americans’ faith in our elections,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause.

As the letter points out, Twitter’s policy forbids “misleading claims about the results or outcome of a civic process which calls for or could lead to interference with the implementation of the results of the process” as well as “inciting unlawful conduct to prevent the procedural or practical implementation of election results.” That policy also prohibits “misleading claims that cause confusion about the established laws, regulations, procedures, and methods of a civic process, or about the actions of officials or entities executing those civic processes.”

“The president is using Twitter to spread disinformation and undermine the integrity of our election,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “Twitter has a duty to ensure that its platform is not used to attack the foundations of our democracy.”

Twitter may temporarily lock accounts for violations of its Civic Integrity Policy or permanently suspend offending users for severe and repeated violations.

The letter makes the point that just in the last day, Trump has used his account, in violation of Twitter’s Civic Integrity Policy, to repeatedly broadcast false claims about the 2020 election — including, but not limited to:

  • Claiming victory “for Electoral Vote purposes” the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina, when no such claims have been made by state officials.
  • Amplifying unproven assertions regarding “a large number of secretly dumped ballots.”
  • Alleging the unauthorized deletion and/or addition of votes, unsubstantiated claims which would constitute a felony violation of federal election law.
  • Spreading a debunked claim that 128,000 new votes spontaneously appeared in Michigan.

In calling for the temporary suspension of the president’s account the groups emphasize that Twitter has previously suspended the accounts of verified users, including Rose McGowan, Katie Hopkins and David Duke, for repeated violations of company policies.

 

The letter recognizes the difficulty of the situation in which Twitter has been placed by Trump’s repeated violations, but nonetheless urges Dorsey to suspend the president’s account to head off potential threats to democracy and public safety.

“We are urging Twitter to take immediate action to enforce its own policies and curb President Trump’s Twitter campaign to spread disinformation and sow unrest amongst his followers,” Flynn said. “The president’s actions are dangerous and irresponsible and Twitter has an obligation to be a responsible corporate citizen and safeguard our democracy.”

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