The president’s latest round of controversial tweets, including one with a video showing him body-slamming a man with the logo of CNN superimposed on his face, has led to renewed calls that Trump’s twitter account be suspended. Journalist professor and all-around silly person Seth Abramson tweeted out:
As CNN reports, Twitter has rejected such calls and doesn’t believe the body-slam tweet goes against its rules: “Twitter said it considered three factors: the political context of the conversation surrounding the tweet, the various ways it could be interpreted and the lack of details in the tweet itself.”
Twitter’s response is correct and could be extended. Suspending Trump’s account is a singularly idiotic idea. The problem with Trump is not that he tweets out mean things but that he’s president of the United States. Because he’s a powerful figure, there is a manifest public interest in being able to access his thoughts and get a sense of what he considers to be important, which Twitter allows the public to do.
Trump’s tweets are of immense importance politically. They can and have been used against him by opponents and by courts reviewing his executive orders. He’s written at least one tweet that could be the basis of impeachment. If there’s an attempt to remove Trump via the 25th Amendment, his tweets could also be evidence of mental unfitness. The fake civility that will be won by banishing Trump from Twitter is a negligible value compared to the genuine importance of having the tweets as part of the public record.