Twitter has been a longtime podium for President Donald Trump, going back to his account’s creation in 2009, a period when the social media site was just three years young but astronomically gaining more and more mainstream traction. However, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as president on January 20, Trump’s account will lose certain protections Twitter has granted him for the past four years as a world leader.
The social media giant has policies that it applies to currently serving world leaders and some other officials, which gives them leeway with tweets of theirs that would otherwise violate the website’s content policy if they were regular Twitter users. Instead of removing the policy-violating tweets and content, the company leaves it on its site if there’s “a clear public interest value to keeping the tweet on the service.”
News officially broke that Twitter, while not saying Trump’s name or job title explicitly, would rescind its special treatment of world leaders once they no longer hold their positions and become private citizens, a Twitter spokesperson told The Verge in a November 7 report.
“Twitter’s approach to world leaders, candidates, and public officials is based on the principle that people should be able to choose to see what their leaders are saying with clear context. This means that we may apply warnings and labels, and limit engagement to certain tweets. This policy framework applies to current world leaders and candidates for office, and not private citizens when they no longer hold these positions,” the spokesperson confirmed to the online technology publication.
At a November 17 congressional hearing, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed that the account of a given world leader, once they are no longer in power, would not be subject to this policy, saying, “If an account suddenly is not a world leader anymore, that particular policy goes away”.
Trump undeniably changed the entire political game with his use of Twitter in 2015 and 2016, with commentators and outlets, such as Vox, remarking at the time that he had “weaponized Twitter — with dangerous consequences“.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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