President Trump has single-handedly increased Twitter’s brand as well as traffic quite dramatically. Although it’s likely a nightmare for techs at Twitter who try and make sure a single tweet by the President doesn’t crash their servers, there is no doubt that Trump has been somewhat of a boon for their business. With that said, many within the media and blogosphere have questioned whether or not Trump’s conduct on the social media platform should be considered cyber bullying or harassment. Twitter has a terms of service which frowns upon harassment and any suggestive language towards violence, meaning that many of the President’s tweets border on behavior which could get an account banned.
While it’s highly unlikely that Twitter will be banning the President of the United States from tweeting any time soon, it would certainly bring up quite an interesting situation if they did. Being that Twitter is a publicly traded company in the United States, they could quite easily make the decision and the President would have very little legal recourse. The question is, could Trump put enough pressure on them, with threats and with negative statements, that they’d consider allowing him to return to their service?
The minute the President would find out that he had been banned, he’d likely go ballistic. Without thinking the matter through, he would more than likely turn towards Facebook and berate his favorite social media platform, threatening Twitter with legal action, and perhaps urging his followers to boycott the platform altogether.
Legally, he has no standing. If a member breaks the terms of service, that service has the legal authority to prevent that member from continuing to break their terms. Trump would be no different than if I, myself, had attacked another member and got banned. While the President certainly has more power than I do, the courts would hold him to the same standards as they would hold me to, and thus not interfere in the decision of a publicly held company, unless of course that decision was in some way unconstitutional.
Negative publicity would likely be the only tool Trump would have that could make Twitter go back on their decision. If a boycott began to drastically affect the company’s bottom line, then they could decide to turn back their decision. With that said, such a reversion would probably look quite terrible on the part of the company, so more than likely they’d stick to any decision they made to begin with. This means the President would likely need to find another method of communication.
Facebook would more than likely be that line of communication. Although the President prefers Twitter to Facebook, Facebook actually has a much larger number of American users than Twitter does. Facebook would also allow the President to express himself in more than just 140-characters, although I’m not so certain that’s a turn-on to him.
While it does not appear that Twitter will be banning his account any time soon, you never know what the future may hold. Without a doubt, such a decision would be one that no CEO would like to have to make.