Why banning Trump from Twitter won't solve anything

Shouldn't his lawyers be handling that?

President Trump and Kamala Harris.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images, -slav-/iStock, vitalkaka/iStock)

This past week, Sen. Kamala Harris wrote Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey requesting that the social media platform suspend President Donald Trump's account. The senator's letter detailed the president's use of Twitter to target the whistleblower of the Ukraine scandal, activity that, Harris explained, appeared to violate the company's user agreement that bans incitement to violence and targeted harassment. Trump's words, Harris wrote, were "blatant threats that put people at risk and our democracy in danger... No user, regardless of their job, wealth, or stature should be exempt from abiding by Twitter's user agreement, not even the president of the United States."

Harris' request seems not only reasonable, but also prudent. Since taking office, Trump's Twitter feed has been a constant string of lies, embarrassments, and outright provocations to violence that demean the presidency and help destabilize the country. His tendency to regularly retweet both conspiracy theories and white nationalist hate definitely violates basic standards of responsible leadership, if not Twitter's.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Neil J. Young

Neil J. Young is a historian and the author of We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics. He writes frequently on American politics, culture, and religion for publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, HuffPost, Vox, and Politico. He co-hosts the history podcast Past Present.