The conservative case for Trump's Twitter ban

Social media isn't biased against Republicans. Hate speech and racism is a different matter.

President Trump.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

If your Twitter interaction with President Trump over the past two months was through his official presidential account rather than through his personal account, it was like visiting a rather tranquil alternate reality. No talk of a stolen election. No retweets of QAnon conspiracy theorists. Not a smidgen of chaos to be found. Instead, your timeline was filled with encouraging news about the Operation Warp Speed vaccine program and a cheery video of the national Christmas tree lighting. It was like one of those accounts that only posts positive stories and cute animal pictures.

In other words, you saw the kind of stuff one would expect to see coming from the official feed of the leader of the free world. And certainly, it was that sort of political account that Twitter's terms of service and moderation guidelines, as well as those at other American social media companies, were designed to handle. A maniacal U.S. president trying to overturn an election and perhaps spur an insurrection? Well, that's kind of an unexpected "edge case," you might say. "Before Trump it was entirely reasonable for a social network to presume that they did not need special rules for presidential tweeting, because the norms of the presidency would sufficiently restrain the president on their own," technology analyst Ben Thompson told his newsletter subscribers. "Trump, though, is clearly exceptional."

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