Twitter displays double standard following threats against Trump

As threats against President Trump were made, Twitter put out a statement highlighting their policy against hate on the site, exposings the double standard between men and women in politics. Graphic by Marina Engler '21

As threats against President Trump were made, Twitter put out a statement highlighting their policy against hate on the site, exposings the double standard between men and women in politics. Graphic by Marina Engler ’21

Marina Engler '21, Staff Writer

Following news that President Trump contracted COVID-19, many flocked to Twitter to voice their opinions and reactions. Among the millions of tweets that rolled in, there was a noticeable amount of tweets wishing death upon the president or making jokes regarding the fact that he’d contracted the virus. In response, however without directly mentioning Trump, Twitter quickly sent out a tweet highlighting their policy against making threats to others. 

I believe that the way in which Twitter went about this is a huge double standard, and by posting this statement after tweets threatened Trump, but not other Twitter users who have been similarly attacked, very insensitive. 

Most notably upset by Twitter’s statement was “The Squad.” The Squad, composed of Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, were upset as Trump has attacked them countless times before with no punishment. In one of his more memorable moments, Trump tweeted that the four women are not capable of loving America, despite them all being congresswomen. 

There have been plenty of times in which Trump has been able to make certain remarks against others with little to no pushback, apart from the few in his replies calling him out.”

It goes without saying that Trump is widely known for his “Twitter fingers.” It has become very apparent during his four years in office that he can, at times, appear to tweet before thinking of the consequences of his words.

This is no excuse for someone in power. I believe that the attacks made against The Squad are a perfect example of how some people are able to more easily get away with things than others. There have been plenty of times in which Trump has been able to make certain remarks against others with little to no pushback, apart from the few in his replies calling him out. It makes me wonder why there has never been any repercussions against those who made threats to the members of The Squad, as well as if there are any protections being made to protect the average Twitter user? 

I also believe this situation raises an important question about our right to free speech. As journalism students, we rely heavily on our first amendment right to free speech. However, I think that a company such as Twitter most definitely should have the right to silence others when they are vocally expressing hate or wishing death upon others. I believe there should be equal protection against every user on the platform against threats, rather than the issue just being brought up when it involves threats being made against the president.