Open Letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: Permanently Ban Donald J. Trump
Dear Mr. Jack Dorsey:
I urge you to permanently ban Mr. Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) from Twitter for violating its policy on hateful conduct. Mr. Trump’s well-documented history of hateful speech both on and off Twitter makes a permanent ban preferable to suspending his account. His celebrity as a former reality television star, his prominence in the business world, and now his political power as President-elect of the United States of America help to amplify his hate speech and legitimize the hate speech of others, more reasons to permanently ban him.
Below, I provide evidence to support a permanent ban of Donald Trump from Twitter as the best course of immediate action.
In my analysis, I include only Tweets that Mr. Trump has not deleted (as of 20 November 2016) to demonstrate that his hate speech is not a thing of the past. I have included the Tweets as images in case Mr. Trump deletes them subsequently, but I link to the original Tweet in the caption. Most importantly, however, the collections of Tweets below highlight a pattern of behavior in violation of Twitter policy on hateful conduct.
Understand that I am not requesting you ban the incoming Trump Administration from using official Twitter accounts of the Executive Branch of the United States government, which have to my knowledge never violated Twitter policy. Instead, I request that Donald Trump as an individual user be banned permanently from Twitter. If his administration wishes to continue his hate speech, they must do so on official government Twitter accounts, in which case I would request the offending accounts also be banned.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly violated Twitter’s policy on hateful conduct
Donald J. Trump has repeatedly violated Twitter’s policy on hateful conduct, in particular the provisions I have highlighted below in a screenshot of your “Hateful conduct policy” page taken on 20 November 2016.
Mr. Trump incites fear about a protected group.
The Twitter policy on hateful conduct prohibits behavior that “promote[s] violence against or directly attack[s] or threaten[s] other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.” Below are examples where Mr. Trump has incited fear about a protected group on the basis of one or more of these traits.
Mr. Trump has repeated sexist tropes that degrade someone.
Donald Trump has at least twice used the sexist trope “bimbo” to describe Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly.
Donald Trump’s hateful conduct encourages the hateful conduct of others
As reported in The Atlantic, Web-marketing firm Demographics Pro estimated that over 35 percent of Donald Trump’s Twitter followers also followed at least one among a selected 10 White nationalist accounts compared to 16 out of 10,000 followers of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. While following a White nationalist on Twitter is not direct evidence of supporting White nationalism, the difference between the two candidates is telling in the context of their rhetoric (see evidence for Trump’s hate speech above, which is limited to his Twitter account).
While we do not yet know whether Donald Trump’s candidacy has led to an increase in hate crimes in 2016, FBI crime reports show that in 2015 there was a 67 percent year-over-year increase in hate crimes targeting Muslims and a 7 percent increase overall. Donald Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015. Meanwhile, the Southern Poverty Law Center had as of 14 November 2016 compiled a list of 315 incidents of hateful harassment since election day, much of it targeting Muslims and Latinos, and many instances including direct references to Trump’s victory in the context of racist symbolism such as the Nazi swaztika. Perhaps most disturbingly, much of the harassment took place in K-12 schools, demonstrating the vulnerability of some impressionable youth to extreme views, and others to racist bullying by their classmates.
Permanently ban Donald Trump from Twitter without delay
Clearly, Mr. Trump has violated your policy while amassing a network of followers who could amplify his hateful conduct. Even his opponents amplify his hate speech by retweeting it in disgust. End this once and for all by banning him from Twitter forever, archiving his data as an historical record of his hateful conduct.
In the coming months, I will make similar requests that you ban other prominent politicians with histories of violating your policy on hateful conduct. At the very least, I hope you will respond to my request as publicly as I have made it.
Resident of Washington State