Donald Trump has, according to the New York Times’ latest count, attacked 135 people on Twitter. Some of these people are not public figures but regular citizens, and his attacks have led to his followers to attack, sometimes in threatening ways, these non-public citizens, in addition to hurling the usual graceful epithets from his specific brand of commentariat.
As Taylor Link, writing at Salon, notes, Trump’s incitement of these frothing loyalists looks like a clear violation of Twitter’s notoriously flexible policies. Per Twitter:
“People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter. But no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targets abuse or harassment of others.”
Trump knows this power exists and wields it on purpose, having once, for example, reportedly threatening Megyn Kelly with it.
Of course, Twitter is the platform that not only just reinstated blatantly white supremacist accounts, including that of neo-Nazi pinch-faced Hitler wannabe Richard Spencer, but also gave them the “verified” checkmark, so nobody hold their breath about banning Trump.