Donald Trump has once again incurred the incredibly mild wrath of Twitter.
Almost six hours after the President of the United States fired off a lie-filled tweet about the dangers of “Mail Drop Boxes” for election ballets, the Twitter Safety team took notice. Rather than remove the tweet, Twitter will allow it to stand with some restrictions and a notice about how it violates the site’s policies.
A follow-up tweet from Twitter Safety notes that the original tweet will be allowed to live on, just with limited engagements. That means no likes, no replies, and re-tweets without comment. It won’t be deleted because most Trump tweets are considered relevant “to ongoing public conversation” by definition.
So now, anyone who looks at the newly flagged tweet will see a message sitting between it and the president’s account info:
“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” the message reads, daring us not to laugh ruefully.
We’re almost four years into this presidency and most sane thinkers have come to view Trump as a walking, talking, rage-filled manifestation of the “old man yells at cloud” meme. U.S. president or not, maybe it’s time to re-think the old public interest rules. Eh, Twitter?
The company has taken an increasingly firm stance on Trump’s social media behavior, which is to say multiple tweets emanating from the president’s account have been flagged, but not removed, since May 2020. The latest flag marks the second time in recent months that Trump’s dishonest portrayal of U.S. elections specifically has drawn Twitter’s (again, incredibly mild) wrath.