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Twitter account reposting everything Trump tweets, suspended within 3 days (mashable.com)
164 points by tobib 34 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 65 comments

I wish we would all collectively agree not to use Twitter or consider it an inappropriate place for such communication. I don't know how Twitter became a serious enough platform for public figures to post on, but to me it still feels equivalent to posting on your niche video game forum or MySpace. I can't take anything seriously if they post it on Twitter.

Twitter has always been a refuge of the small minded and the most superficial aspects of our society. Couple that with raging narcissism, dog-whistle politics, racism, and you have a weaponized platform. This is the dark side of the tech. /u The light side is that it allows almost real-time reporting of current events, crowdsorcing, and sentiment feedback to allow for responsible action by people who pay attention.

Almost real-time reporting and rumor mill. The amount of half truths, lies, doctored / out of context imagery is staggering. Not convinced that having a real-time rumor mill in times of crisis and social discord helps anyone other than cynical political actors.

Surely Twitter is both, just like every other platform?

I'm not sure it is. Twitter is short form by design. Most issues are complex. I would suggest that short form dissertation on complex issues is pointless at best and more often than not simply stokes conflict.

Have Twitter (and Facebook) provided valuable information to the world? Sure. Have they also harmed democracies? I think it's fairly obvious they have.

Oh shoot, turns out it's a complex issue...

The quality of conversation on facebook is not higher than twitter, just more verbose. Twitter’s short form is not the cause for its deficiencies, the low threshold for reaching a wide audience is.

I like to compare twitter to current modern language prediction models. Instead of seeding the ML model with a sentence and getting an output tree, you are seeding the social consciousness of people and getting an organic output.

This is why intention is so important when interacting with new technologies.

Twitter is horrible, but at least it's not Facebook. After a while on the site, it's fairly easy to see what's organic and what's promoting something. Lots of insightful commentary you don't see elsewhere.

yeah, because twitter is the land of brain farts I allocate it the same level of focus, but FB.. its deeper and more insidious. personally I wont touch it.

I periodically go to twitters homepage, see the idiotic trending tags, and just facepalm at the collective histrionic stupidity Twitter is generating

>"I periodically go to twitters homepage, see the idiotic trending tags, and just facepalm at the collective histrionic stupidity Twitter is generating"

It's all in how you use it. I honestly think Twitter is the only decent one out of all the big social media sites. They give you really good filtering capabilities, the ability to hide sponsored posts, and the content is actually accessible via the web, not locked within their walled garden a la Facebook. Twitter is great if you curate the people you follow and stick to technical and scientific topics. Avoiding politics is the key; 140 characters is simply not the platform to have those kind of discussions, which leads to the toxicity.

That's very different from my experience. You can't hide "trends", "who to follow", or "topics", and they make it pretty much impossible to do with simple cosmetic filtering, which I certainly don't believe is accidental. I honestly never felt Facebook coming after my attention, with content I don't want to see, nearly as hard.

By the way, the character limit has been doubled to 280 a few years ago.

I use Tweetdeck, so I don't see any "trends" or "who to follow" or "topics" or anything like that (unless I choose to).


Aren't the tags personalized? lol

Why not check before making a comment like this? You can open twitter from a private browser tab in a mobile device and instantly see that there are global trending tags.


I left many years ago, after the realization that it has the property of making people awful (including me).

I left about 6 years ago. I became increasingly frustrated that nobody was talking about real issues, namely politics, and that celebrities weren’t using their vast reach to amplify messages. Twitter was for tweeting what one had for lunch.

Well, look at Twitter now. I got what I wanted, and I hate it. I was wrong. I’d happily go back to early Twitter.

Serious question: Where else can I find all of these government agencies / representative (Congress) statements? Twitter seems to be how the US government communicates with the people.

It seems that Twitter makes it much easier to follow and hear from US representatives.

Perhaps they should make a .gov website for official communication only. The government shouldn't be using Twitter for this purpose.

I disagree somewhat.

Twitter can be useful for following people and orgs you care about. And TBH, the "hot takes" I have sometimes seen on Twitter have changed my opinions about things. And people are using it now, in America, to share videos and communicate about things like they did in Iran 11 years ago.

Where Twitter fails to be useful is in

  * Trusting it too much when you don't already know the source
  * Looking at the replies to Tweets (IOW, tweet convos are rarely useful)
  * Hashtags as journalism (#blah is trending!) 
Bots, trolls, and hate are huge on Twitter, as are whiny people looking for attention. Find the way to use Twitter properly, and it can be a benefit.

Twitter's trending topics are one of the better propaganda tools ever created. You can steer millions of people to any narrative you want just by getting (or buying) enough retweets. Anyone who produces propaganda likes that.

I wish we could all agree also.

100% of Twitter’s value is network effects. People are there because other people are there.

I concur but to be honest, that is why Twitter has become valuable. Imagine if peopoe like Trump, Obama or the top 100 celebrities, CEOs stopped using Twitter. Who would then really care ? I have a twitter account but I don't feel the need to tweet personally and frankly, no one would care.

So even though people like Trump are technically a nuisance for Twitter, they are also the reason why Twitter has millions of people on it.

Those who feel the way you do, myself included, haven't used Twitter in years

I mean, Twitter have explicitly said in the past that they won't suspend national leaders for breaking the rules, so this is entirely consistent with this policy, as the reposter isn't a national leader.

This is just rage-bait content farm blog spam. Yes, it’s a poor experiment because bots only retweeting aren’t allowed anyway. Yes, obviously the president is held to a different standard. Yes, even Twitter says as much (which just made POTUS and co even angrier). Yes, everyone upvoting this already knew that.

> Yes, obviously the president is held to a different standard

In a sane world, this would mean that the President is held to a higher standard because of his position. Now you're using it to mean the opposite.

I’m not clear on whether you take issue with my phrasing or the situation as it stands but I think it would be ridiculous for anyone to pretend that this president/any US president isn’t going to be held to a different standard pretty much across all walks of life. And yes, I think our leaders (from local officials to police to congressmen/senators, the president, his appointed staff, and everyone else in a position of authority over others or responsibile for anyone), should be held to a higher moral and perhaps even legal standard thanks everyone else, but I think that ship sailed quite some time ago.

he's not retweeting, he's reposting.

this is a different experiment: what if a regular person would be posting content with the same language as Donald Trump?

the answe is, such person would see his twitter account suspended within three days.

what can we extrapolate from this? maybe that twitter is whitelisting Tump from its automatic content moderating bots/filters.

Right, but we also know that because Twitter says that. They are clear that world leaders are held to a different standard then the general public because Twitter's view is it is in the public's interest. You can disagree with this, but it is not a secret.

Yes, and my entire point is that it’s not news. It’s ok to be utopian or idealistic without being blind to the harsh realities of the world we live in today. Let’s not feign surprise, that just makes us look ignorant.

Is there really any news here? Twitter has already and on multiple occasions specified that political leader's tweets, including trump, fall under a public interest exception

I'd imagine that the data on which tweets are contrary to Twitters own policy - and are only up for public interest - would be fairly interesting

Twitter should try and make this a bit more visible in general.

That's what they did with the note on Trump's tweet that upset him so much.

Everyone is hating on Twitter and I'm here enjoying the tweets from friends, developers and opsec.

But seriously, having a good experience with Twitter is not hard I think. Follow and interact with people who post interesting or funny stuff and unfollow/block/mute political posters.

Possibly falls foul of Twitter’s ToS in less obvious ways?


Platform manipulation and spam: You may not use Twitter’s services in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on Twitter.

Impersonation: You may not impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations in a manner that is intended to or does mislead, confuse, or deceive others.

> Impersonation: You may not impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations in a manner that is intended to or does mislead, confuse, or deceive others.

the person doin this experiment was very clear about not being the real donald trump.

Has anyone else deactivated Twitter of late?

I unfollowed everyone a while ago, and have recently only re-followed the police departments in my neighborhood, because of my proximity to certain events.

I've kept the Twitter app on my iPad but not my iPhone, mostly to follow certain trending topics in my downtime.

I don't miss it a whole lot, and I've upped my RSS feed count reading.

But mostly I want to stop consuming as much as I am consuming right now.

Read some books this last weekend... it was a far better use of my time, and a much better outcome for my mood.

It most likely got suspended because of an extremely large number of people reporting it. He created the account so people will report it!

Also, Twitter stated that publicly elected national leaders tweets don't get removed, because the people they lead, for better or worse, need to see what they're saying. I, for one, want to know what my President says. This doesn't mean I like it.

> This account will tweet what the President tweets. Let’s see if it gets suspended for violating twitters TOS. Follow along with this social experiment. Report any tweets that violate the rules. Thank you

So the owner of the account just baited people to report posts. I don't see anything newsworthy here.

You and I know that. But Hacker News disagrees.

Isn't it clear that Trump has violated the TOS several times by now, but who's going to ban the president?

They added the 'Public interests exception' rule for a reason.

Everything is a TOS violation. The main idea is that with subjective standards you are able to manipulate the actions as you like.

My gripe is less that subjective standards apply, and more about the pious claims to contrary. 'Fairness' is just another F-word.

OTOH, if Trump is actually bothered by Jack, then Trump has only a bazillion options open for sidestepping the media and going straight to his audience.

Therefore, the back-and-forth should be seen as so much theater, to be enjoyed or rejected at audience will.

Genuinely curious regarding the issue taken with the above reply.

Your response ignored the comment you responded to, and went on a political diversion.

When Trump eventually loses his position as POTUS (as everyone does), will Twitter ban his account for previous TOS violations, or violations after POTUS?

I wonder how this will play out once he one longer holds the 'in the publics interest' badge.

This one part of the overall very, very interesting question how the US is handling things once Trump leaves office ultimately. It will also define a lot of things for democracy in general, world wide.

We understand the need for strict scrutiny in 1A restrictions. No trolling by yelling "Fire!" in a crowded non-combusting, crowded theater.

So the question of whether the 'Public interests exception' should apply for a website where any reasonable user knows the content is dodgy on its best day.

> We understand the need for strict scrutiny in 1A restrictions. No trolling by yelling "Fire!" in a crowded non-combusting, crowded theater.

This is a recurring favorite bad legal take for @BadLegalTakes: https://twitter.com/BadLegalTakes

Stop SAYING this! Goodness HN has stopped caring about facts.

This ruling was not upheld. Please stop using this example, HN.

What specific case, then? I come here to learn. Please educate.


It's not accurate, it was an argument used in a SCOTUS case that has since been unanimously overturned.


Brandenburg v Ohio established the current standard for free speech, and it's extremely permissive.

Schenk v US was partially overturned by Brandenburg v. Ohio.

We've come around, though, as Holmes' line of reasoning is very common today.

Some details in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shouting_fire_in_a_crowded_the...

To add some more commentary: https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-tim...

Shouting "fire" in a crowded theater is protected by the 1A as long as it passes the Brandenburg Test of "imminent lawless action".

Twitter needs to be regulated as a publisher if they insist on curating viewpoints and censoring opinions they don't like.

In what ways do you think publishers are regulated and how would those hypothetical regulations apply to Twitter?

Remember that Sec. 230 is about liability not about responsibility. That is to say it’s about monetary damages and not regulatory compliance obligations.

No. If I start a message board and you break the rules, I should be able to delete your posts and ban you without legal consequence. It’s my platform. Twitter has the freedom to determine what content they allow and don’t allow on their platform. I don’t see why this is so hard for people to understand.

> I don’t see why this is so hard for people to understand.

probably because they waited until everyone was using the platform before enforcing those rules?

I've seen versions of this take over the last few days and I'm curious what the actual stance is.

Is the belief that Twitter shouldn't have any rules against violence speech, or that those rules shouldn't apply to the president? Or is the belief that the president hasn't violated those rules, but if he did the rules should still apply to him?

What does any of that have to do with curating viewpoints?

I'm interpreting "censoring opinions they don't like" to be a reference to Twitter blocking likes/retweets on a Trump tweet for violating the TOS on violence. I'm asking what OP's positive stance on that is.

Publishers are not strictly regulated.

> Let’s see if it gets suspended for violating twitters TOS.

How is this a story? A user called “suspendthepres” posted the presidents tweets and encouraged like-minded individuals to report them... gets banned?

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