Twitter played an integral part in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and his tweets took on even more importance after he was elected to office. At the same time, Trump’s reliance on the social media platform has created a comfortable relationship with the struggling company that has never turned a profit.
Twitter’s monthly average user base in the April-June quarter grew 5 percent from the previous year to 328 million, but its stock prices have fallen, and on Thursday, the San Francisco-based company reported a second-quarter loss of $116 million, or 16 cents per share, compared with a loss of $107 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.
Known to be a place where people can be especially cruel, Twitter has lately embarked on a mission to block accounts that violate its terms. The president’s account, however, will not likely suffer despite calls from critics who accuse Trump of repeatedly breaking Twitter’s rules against harassment.
Thanks to the president’s notoriety and newsworthy appeal, tweets mocking reporters and rivals will be untouched by the service even as it strives to make Twitter a more welcoming platform.
As a result, liberal activists, affected journalists, and left-leaning Twitter users are characteristically outraged, after having called for Twitter to ban Trump since before he even became president.
Those calls amplified to a loud roar after the president posted a mock video meme of him “body slamming” a man whose face was covered by the CNN logo. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press was one of the several groups that condemned the video as a threat against journalists, while Americans who still possess common sense understood that a meme is meant to be nothing more than a joke.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended his company’s decision to let the president say what he wants in his tweets, telling NBC in May that it’s “really important to hear directly from leadership” and have conversations in a public forum because it holds people accountable.
Free speech advocates are also in agreement that Trump’s tweets should be left alone.
Emma Llanso, director of the Center for Democracy & Technology’s Free Expression Project, called his tweets “very clearly, politically relevant speech,” noting that they are even being cited in court cases challenging the president’s policies.
Trump’s tweets worked against him in June when a U.S. appeals court used them to block his travel ban on people from six countries that sponsor terrorism.
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