Don't Count On Trump Being Banned From Twitter

by Morgan Brinlee
Drew Angerer/Getty Images News/Getty Images

It's been a busy week for the president on Twitter. Along with continuing to accuse multiple major news outlets of being "fake news," President Donald Trump managed to insult the intelligence, mental health, and physical appearance of MSNBC Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski not once, but twice, and tweet an edited video clip of him body-slamming and punching a man with the CNN logo superimposed over his head. In light of Trump's recent tweets some, including members of Congress, are wondering if the platform will shut down Trump's account once and for all. But can Trump be banned from Twitter?

The short answer is: Yes. Twitter has the right to ban any user they find to be in violation of their terms of service. "In order to protect the experience and safety of people who use Twitter, there are some limitations on the type of content and behavior that we allow," Twitter's terms of service read. Failure to follow the social media network's policies "may result in the temporary locking and or permanent suspension" of a users account.

Twitter's rules are relatively simple. Users are not allowed to engage in violent threats, hateful conduct, or incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others among other things.

But while Trump certainly could be banned from Twitter — just as any user of the social media network could be — Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has previously said the microblogging site isn't planning on doing that.

"I believe it's really important to hear directly from our leadership," Dorsey said in an interview on NBC's Sunday Today back in May. "I believe it's really important to hold them accountable and I believe it's really important to have these conversations out in the open rather than have them behind closed doors."

According to Dorsey, taking away open, public platforms of communication such as Twitter from high-profile political figures like the president could cause such conversations to slip into "the dark." "I just don't think that's good for anyone," Dorsey said.

In an interview with Wired in April, Dorsey also revealed that Twitter's policy team takes into consideration the "newsworthiness" of a tweet or account when considering requests to remove content or ban and suspend users. Under that criteria, Trump's status as president automatically makes much of what he tweets newsworthy.

As outrage over the president's tweets grew throughout the week, so to did calls for him to stop. DNC Deputy Chair and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison told TMZ Friday he thought it was time Twitter take action against Trump. "Trump abuses people on social media much like any common social media bully," Ellison said. "I personally think that Twitter and company should treat him just like any other social media harasser and snatch his account. I mean, it's a private company, he doesn't have a right to have a Twitter account."

But Trump has defended his social media habits as his means of fighting what he routinely calls the fake news media. "The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media - but remember, I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media," Trump tweeted Sunday. "My use of social media is not Presidential - it's MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL."

Modern day presidential behavior or not, the question still remains: Will there ever come a time when enough is enough?