An unidentified person launched their own experiment during the ongoing conflict between President Donald Trump and social media companies. On May 29, this person created a Twitter account using the name @SuspendThePres. They then proceeded to tweet the exact same messages that Trump was tweeting. The goal? To see how long it would take them to get suspended from the platform, if at all.
It took nearly three days (or 68 hours), but this person did get suspended from Twitter. They were temporarily suspended for violating Twitter’s rules against glorifying violence. Twitter refers to this state as being “temporarily unavailable” or “locked.”
Experiment Update – Well it finally happened. Took longer than expected. 12 hour suspension and had to delete the offending tweet. Here’s the screenshots @suspendthepres. Will post to the account when suspension is lifted. pic.twitter.com/wvKV9HDKBn— Bizarre Lazar (@BizarreLazar) June 1, 2020
SuspendThePres is run by Bizarre Lazar (@BizarreLazar,) who has not identified themselves by their real name at this time. The tweet this person was suspended for was the Trump tweet that sparked nationwide backlash, which now has restricted access and a warning attached to it.
….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
The tweet, seen above, was flagged for violating Twitter’s rules about glorifying violence; however, Twitter determined it was in the public’s interest for it to remain accessible. Just this week, Snapchat announced it was no longer promoting Trump’s account on their Discover page due to the president’s comments on Twitter.
Many have taken to social media to discuss why only one account was suspended, when two were tweeting the exact same thing.
“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,” SuspendThePres told Mashable. “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].”
Now, SuspendThePres is continuing the experiment on Facebook. At the time of publishing, Facebook has not taken any action on the Facebook page.
Experiment Update – A lot of people have asked if Facebook will do the same thing. Good question. Well, let’s find out shall we?https://t.co/0RmRYebtgq— Will they suspend me? (@SuspendThePres) June 4, 2020