President Trump met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey today, and according to the Washington Post, the leader of the free world spent a significant amount of time complaining to Dorsey about his perception that Twitter has intentionally lowered his follower count.
From the Post:
A significant portion of the meeting focused on Trump’s concerns that Twitter quietly, and deliberately, has limited or removed some of his followers, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversation who requested anonymity because it was private. Trump said he had heard from fellow conservatives who had lost followers for unclear reasons as well.
But Twitter long has explained that follower figures fluctuate as the company takes action to remove fraudulent spam accounts. In the meeting, Dorsey stressed that point, noting even he had lost followers as part of Twitter’s work to enforce its policies, according to the source, who described the meeting as cordial.
Imagine the president of the United States, sitting in the Oval Office, staring at his follower count and getting redder and redder, steam drifting out of his ears, as the number on the page goes from 59.9 million to 59.8 million. Beautiful.
This is truly high level Trump brain: assuming you’ve lost followers due a plot nefarious liberals (or whatever Dorsey’s Castaway-looking fascist sympathizing ass is) rather than the platform attempting to cut down on the extremely high percentage of users who are bots.
As a Splinter colleague pointed out, the petulance and immaturity evidenced by this incident is reminiscent of when right-wing troll Laura Loomer staged her legendary protest at Twitter’s New York headquarters by handcuffing herself to one of their office’s two front doors to demand Twitter return her banned account.
The fundamental problem here is that conservatives just can’t seem to understand that Twitter policy might not be about them. If they lose their account, or lose some bot followers, it must be because of prejudice on the part of the company against them. This is same company, mind you, who still hasn’t seriously tried to limit the number of Nazis using their platform.
All in all, it seems like whatever happened in the meeting, it was satisfactory for everyone involved.
“Some of you will be very supportive of our meeting the president, and some of you might feel we shouldn’t take this meeting at all,” Dorsey said in an email after the meeting, according to Motherboard. “In the end, I believe it’s important to meet heads of state in order to listen, share our principles and our ideas.”
Meanwhile, some of us are still wondering how Trump is allowed to use Twitter at all, as his tweets regularly violate the site’s terms of service which includes banning threats of violence.
Twitter has maintained that they have different standards for public officials. Trump’s tweets are in the public interest, and thus are allowed, however awful. But the company says that it will soon add labels on tweets like Trump’s that violate their rules.
“How can we put some context around it so people are aware that that content is actually a violation of our rules and it is serving a particular purpose in remaining on the platform,” Vijaya Gadde, the company’s head of legal, policy, and trust and safety, said at an event hosted by the Post last month.