In response to the violent protest in Minneapolis last week, President Trump sent an unconscionable tweet that seemingly urged the military to shoot anyone who was caught looting.
The post reignited calls for Twitter to suspend Trump's official account, as it was a clear violation of the terms of service. The platform pointed to the "public interest exceptions" within policies, explaining why it would not remove elected officials' tweets that would otherwise result in a suspension.
"Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate," Twitter wrote in a blog post. "It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions."
Hours after the platform decided to flag the tweet for "glorifying violence," one Twitter user announced the launch of an online experiment that aimed to highlight Twitter's double standard and preferential treatment for the president. @SuspendthePres stated it would repost—not retweet—every message that Trump shared on his official account, to see whether or not the account would be punished for violating the terms of service.
Twitter user @BizzareLazar, who operates @SuspendThePres, spoke to Mashable about the account and its primary objective.
"I wanted to see for myself if he was indeed violating [Twitter's terms of service]," @SuspendThePres said via DM, "Figured what better way to test out the hypothesis than to see if they suspended me for the exact same language."
Well, nearly three days after @SuspendThePres' announced the experiment, it was slapped with a 12-hour suspension over the aforementioned tweet.
"I believe we as a free society, which is more and more dependent on social media to gather our information are responsible for holding our elected officials accountable for the content they put out there," @SuspendThePres said. "Social media platforms themselves have the same responsibilities, however they can be hamstrung by certain limitations. In a world leaders case, Twitter makes the argument that their content is important to be able be viewed regardless of its content to further national interest in the conversation. While I don’t disagree with that statement, I feel we should also know if that content would otherwise violate a platforms [terms of service]."