As President Trump continues to tweet away — energizing his base, attacking the media, affecting companies’ stock performance, threatening Congress, alienating U.S. allies, making spelling purists twitch — Twitter has fielded many a call to ban him.
The latest call comes from former CIA officer Valerie Plame, who has started a GoFundMe account to try to raise $1 billion to buy Twitter for the sole purpose of banning Trump from it.
“Donald Trump has done a lot of horrible things on Twitter,” the intro to the campaign reads. “From emboldening white supremacists to promoting violence against journalists, his tweets damage the country and put people in harm’s way. But threatening actual nuclear war with North Korea takes it to a dangerous new level.”
Friday, Plame tweeted that “if @Twitter executives won’t shut down Trump’s violence and hate, then it’s up to us. #BuyTwitter #BanTrump.” Her tweet was accompanied by a link to the GoFundMe account, which so far has raised $2,970 from 47 people.
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With all the attention Trump brings to Twitter, its executives have all but said they will never ban him from the platform.
CEO Jack Dorsey said in December that he found Trump’s use of Twitter to be “fascinating” and “complicated.” CFO Anthony Noto got some flak in May for suggesting that the president do a Twitter Q&A.
Last month, Twitter said the president did not violate its terms of service — which prohibit harassment and promoting or inciting violence — when he tweeted a GIF of an old wrestling video showing Trump beating up on someone with a CNN logo for a face.
“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,” said the CNN article about that CNN digital smackdown.
The GoFundMe page says that because Twitter is a publicly traded company, “shares equal power. This GoFundMe will fund the purchase of a controlling share of Twitter. At the current market rate that would require over a billion dollars — but that’s a small price to pay to take away Trump’s most powerful megaphone and prevent a horrific nuclear war.”
If the campaign doesn’t raise the $1 billion, or if it does and there’s a surplus, the funds collected would go to Global Zero, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the elimination of nuclear weapons.
It seems like ages since Trump’s tweets about North Korea and the United States’ nuclear arsenal, but they came only a couple of weeks ago. Among other statements both online and offline, Trump tweeted that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is “now far stronger and more powerful than ever before.” North Korea hasn’t forgotten; Monday, it told Australia that its stated support for Trump and the United States is “suicidal.”
“Trump has fully weaponized Twitter: it’s not something that just happens ‘online,’ ” the GoFundMe campaign warns.
If @Twitter executives won’t shut down Trump’s violence and hate, then it’s up to us. #BuyTwitter #BanTrump https://t.co/HhbaHSluTx
— Valerie Plame Wilson (@ValeriePlame) August 18, 2017
Reaction to the effort has been mixed, with some expressing support for the idea and others saying Twitter provides rope with which Trump can hang himself.
This is silly. Even if you could “buy” Twitter – why? we WANT him to have a public platform. You want this crap said in private instead?
— AnxietyJane (@AnxietyJane) August 18, 2017
Twitter is just one medium. It cant stop the man’s rhetoric but helps show the world his true colours
— Alessandra Bonati (@Lessbonatina) August 18, 2017
It’s not the first time someone has thought of buying Twitter as an anti-Trump measure, by the way. Earlier this year, some peso traders suggested that Mexico should buy Twitter and shut it down as a way to fight Trump’s anti-Mexico tweets.
Photo: Former CIA analyst Valerie Plame testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 16, 2007, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Plame, a covert CIA officer, was identified by syndicated columnist Robert Novak in 2003 via a Bush administration leak. (Dennis Cook/AP)
Tags: Donald Trump, GoFundMe, North Korea, nuclear war, twitter, Valerie Plame
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