The In-House Corporate Counsel here at GOML has issued a strongly worded memo which will shortly be sent to Omid Kordestanti, the Executive Chairman of Twitter, and Jack Dorsey, its C.E.O.
The memo points out that the President of the United States is in clear violation of the Twitter Terms Of Services (T.O.S.) agreement that all users must abide by, and should have his account de-activated immediately, not only for the protection of the innocent people he routinely harasses using the social media site, but also to prevent further de-stabilization of the U.S. political and social landscape, and to improve the diplomatic climate on which world peace depends.
The memo sites the T.O.S agreement, noting particularly the “Abusive Behavior” element of the “Twitter Rules”:
We believe in freedom of expression and in speaking truth to power, but that means little as an underlying philosophy if voices are silenced because people are afraid to speak up. In order to ensure that people feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs, we do not tolerate behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice.
It is a regular and predictable event that when someone is mildly or even inadvertently critical, or is simply perceived to be critical of the President, that person will certainly be attacked and insulted via Twitter. Those attacks are exactly “behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice.”
Before yesterday, the most recent example had been Mitch McConnell, who made the mistake of mentioning that the President was new to the job and may not yet fully appreciate what’s involved in getting laws passed. This is something the Trump camp itself has repeated often as a way to emphasize Trump’s “outsider” bona fides, so McConnell certainly wouldn’t have thought himself to be attacking Trump. But Trump turned on him using Twitter.
But there’s no need to dissect that particular instance. The New York Times has kept a running account of Trump’s Twitter attacks on others. There are hundreds and hundreds.
There is no question that these attacks are meant to silence criticism, and no question that they do so effectively. After the Alt-Right violence in Virginia a few days ago, Trump’s tepid and inappropriate response resulted in several CEO’s leaving his Management Advisory Counsel, starting with Merck CEO, Kenneth Frazier, followed immediately by the predictable Twitter attack-tirade from Trump.
Frazier was soon followed out by the Intel and Under Armor CEOs, but others stayed with Trump, not wanting to jeopardize their relations with a business-favoring White House, and, more importantly, not wanting to incur the Twitter-wrath of the POTUS. Who would want to be the subject of an attack-tweet from the leader of the free world?
Even Mrs. Stewie Generis, sipping coffee across the table from me as I write these words, is warning me to be careful what I write as there is a possibility that Trump could single us out and we wouldn’t want that!
In explaining why other CEOs and business leaders, e.g. Michael Dell, Jeff Immelt, and Richard Trumka, have issued statements abhorring racism but stayed with Trump and not endorsed Frazier’s actions, Michael Strain, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said,
“I’m sure that corporate leaders feel some reticence to speak out because they’re afraid of being attacked by the president by name.”
Exactly! And exactly what violates the Twitter T.O.S.
So what should you do to support the effort to ban the President from Twitter? Spread the word. Write a letter to the Twitter management team. Carry signs. Get a bumper sticker made. Start an online petition at Change.org. Get involved!
You are hereby granted permission to cite the GOML legal team in your efforts and you should know we’ll be right behind you every step of the way.
Right up until that first attack-tweet hits us – then we’re out. I’m sure you understand.