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  • Writer's pictureReece Bithrey

Opinion: Trump's Twitter Talk Could Be Over If He Loses The Election - Thank God.

(Picture Credit - BBC)

I shouldn't really have to sit and write this article, but with the amount of unfounded claims that are filling Twitter at the moment, not just from the President, but from those merely regurgitating his false rhetoric, this just needed to be written. If Trump loses the election over the next couple of days, his Twitter-based immunity could be over.

The bottom line is this - if you've been following the tensely close US election over the last few days, you'll have seen that Democrat Joe Biden is on the verge of toppling Trump, which will make the incumbent orange goon the first one-term president this century, and the fourth since the end of the Second World War. It's certainly fair to say that Trump hasn't been your typical President, ushering in a new age when it comes to political communication for one thing. Twitter is, for most of the time, a useful platform for finding out what's trending online and seeking out people's short hot-takes on certain topics. However, since Trump took office in 2016, and even before then in his case, it's become a medium for him to both spout his opinions and also make key political announcements which isn't what you'd call, well, traditional.

To be honest, the overuse of Twitter just plays into the image Trump wants to portray as this 'alternative' politician, not least aided by his previous lack of political experience and also his numerous and seemingly never-ending tirade of outspoken comments. This article, I should say, isn't designed as an attack on free speech - we have the right to free speech, and to say what we like, but there's a fine line between voicing your opinion, stoking up hatred, and telling straight lies. To me, Trump is guilty of all three - at the end of the day, if I didn't believe in free speech, I wouldn't be writing this article and publishing it. Anyway, back to the topic of Twitter - it's become a resource for the current President to say what he likes without fear of any repercussions.

That might seem strange at first glance - surely the President Of The United States should face some form of consequence for what he posts, especially if it's just empty claims? Well, because of Twitter's policy on world leaders, Trump can essentially say what he likes, and Twitter will just mask the tweets with a warning that says they might contain false information about a certain topic. This all boils down to the fact that, as a world leader, Trump is seen to be of public interest and so censoring his Tweets would be doing the public a disservice. Think of that what you will of course, but to me, it just seems a bit strange. Twitter's policy essentially forms part of a behavioural nudge as if to say "There might be some dodgy information here - read at your own risk. Feel free to believe it as the President's said it, but at the end of the day, if you want to be sucked into a vortex of misinformation, it's your own fault.".

This could all be about to change though. If Trump loses the election, he obviously won't be treated with the same world leader status he once was and this means he'll go back to being the same as everyone else - Trump would just become another private citizen. Therefore, if he keeps ranting and raving about false accusations of voter fraud, and spreading misinformation about protests, then he could face measures such as account freezes and temporary bans. What's more, if he doesn't change his ways then the President and media mogul could see his account shut down completely, much like the vile Katie Hopkins and comedy writer Graham Linehan. This change of policy could spell the end for Trump and his retweeting of items from groups such as Britain First (which he did back in 2018, without any knowledge of who they were) as well as set a precedent for the actions of former leaders.

There's no doubt that Donald Trump has been a dangerous character, both in and out of political office, and these last few days with the election have definitely proven it. Where once it was Trump talking about the 'fake news media', now the media are turning their backs on him. Just the other night, CNN cut the President off due to his seventeen minute speech at the White House proclaiming "If you count the legal votes, I easily win." and similar empty claims about voting. They then proceeded to interview their main legal correspondent who dismantles Trump's claims pretty much instantly. Even members of the GOP have been quick to point out that there haven't been any illegal votes. In the likes of Pennsylvania, Republican Senator Pat Tooney called Trump's claims "very disturbing".

Of course, there was no way that Trump would've been at all gracious in defeat, unlike the late John McCain when he conceded against Barack Obama back in 2008. This crisis won't end with the culmination of the election - Trump will continue to have hissy fits until he's officially gone in January 2021, but when he does go, Twitter will certainly be a better place for it.


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