Twitter Says It Could Boot Donald Trump At Any Time. Here's Why That Probably Won't Happen.

Would anyone Tweet if it weren't for Trump?

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (or @Jack) and the company's legal and policy chief told reporters Tuesday that no one is exempt from Twitter's anti-harassment rules — even the president himself — and that President Donald Trump could get booted from the network at any time if he doesn't follow the social network's commands.

Speaking to Politico, Twitter's legal and policy chief Vijaya Gadde suggested that while world leaders are afforded more leeway on the platform than the average Twitter user, such leniency "is not a blanket exception for the president or anyone else."

"We have to balance it with the context that it’s in," Dorsey added. "So my role is to ask questions and make sure we’re being impartial, and we’re upholding consistently our terms of service, including public interest."

Dorsey told the news outlet that he does get notifications on his phone when Trump Tweets, but he doesn't plan on intervening to stop the President unless things really get out of hand (he declined to go into specifics). Trump's tweets are a matter of public record, it seems, and Dorsey believes deleting Trump "would hide important information people should be able to see and debate."

Even if it can remove Donald Trump, Twitter probably won't, simply because Trump is worth a lot of money to the social network which has, in the past, struggled to make ends meet.

Last year, at least one high-powered tech analyst estimated that Trump was worth a cool $2 billion in market value to Twitter; if Trump suddenly disappeared off the social network, "Twitter could lose almost a fifth of its value."

That's not good news for a network that has struggled to keep users, particularly in light of coarsening political rhetoric.

For his part, Dorsey seems to believe the goal is to keep Washington out of Silicon Valley. The Twitter CEO will testify in front of Congress in the coming weeks, addressing concerns about censorship, so-called "shadow banning," and whether Twitter and other social media platforms should be regulated as public utilities.


What's Your Reaction?