Commentary

Why I Reported Trump To Twitter -- And Why You Should, Too


I just reported an abusive tweet by the President of the United States. Twitter says it is investigating the matter. I doubt it will take any action based on my sole report, but I encourage others who have Twitter accounts to do the same.

There have been many tweets made by Donald Trump since he became President that I have found abusive. But it was the one he sent Tuesday comparing the size of his “nuclear button” to Kim Jong-un’s that prompted me to report it as “abusive or harmful” to Twitter.

Whether he was deranged or just jesting -- or even using it as a way to spin the media -- Trump’s use of social media is no joke. It is abusive and harmful to my personal psyche, and I believe America’s, if not the entire world’s.

It’s been nearly a year since I first blogged that I thought we should have a law preventing POTUS from having a personal social-media account capable of communicating one-to-masses for a variety of reasons. I am more convinced of that one year later.

The real-time power of Trump’s massive Twitter and other social-media followers is a disruptive game-changer that was not envisions by the framers of the Constitution. And just the way more contemporary legislators created the 25th Amendment to deal with Presidential instability in the nuclear age, I think it’s time they do the same in the Twitter age.

I’d like to think that Twitter itself would police and self-regulate Trump’s tweets and if not block @realDonaldTrump, at the very least moderate it.

One baby step is to simply require Trump to use @POTUS instead, because then we would truly know they are official White House statements, and not impulsive disruptions that the White House communications team can deny, “walk back,” or spin as just letting Trump be Trump.

I don’t expect those things to happen anymore than I expect Congress to draft new legislation that would make that a law. But I think they should.

I believe in the First Amendment. I believe in free and open media markets, even when they are disruptive. I don’t believe the President of the United States should use them to wage psychological warfare and hold us all hostage.

Whatever his emotional needs are for sustaining this sort of behavior, Trump is no longer a candidate campaigning for office. He is the President of the United States — and he should act that way. And if he can’t, we should prevent him from acting in a way that is not. If you agree, please report Trump’s tweet to Twitter.

21 comments about "Why I Reported Trump To Twitter -- And Why You Should, Too".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Kevin Lee from Didit, January 3, 2018 at 12:53 p.m.

    I like to think that Twitter might do something, but unfortunately Trump is the best thing that ever happened to Twitter. So, unless people defect by the millions in protest, I'm not hopeful. 

  2. Tom Tyler from GCTVTexas, January 3, 2018 at 1:18 p.m.

    You reported Trump to twitter because you don't believe in Free Speech.
    And those of who do are getting sick and tired of the left's Politically Correct Fascism.

  3. Diane McDevitt from ravenmood, January 3, 2018 at 2:58 p.m.

    IF everyone reports him, won't they have to do something?  His tweets are abusive, inflammatory and could lead us to war - does Twitter want to be the enabler?  In the past, if Presidents had snide, inflammatory comments - they were making them to their aides and staff members - where hopefully, it was kept in confidence.  This, is not that.  This is poking a big bear that could turn around and eat us...not him, he'll be safely ensconced in a secure facility with family and sycophants (I do not believe he has true friends).  Where will we be - taking the hit for him. 

  4. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, January 3, 2018 at 3:44 p.m.

    @Tom, no I reported @realDonaldTrump because I was exercising my free speech. It is up to Twitter as a private enterprise if they agree Trump is violating their terms of service, and if they do anything about it. That is not a free speech issue. As President of the United States, Trump has more communications channels and reach at his disposal than any other human being on the planet. Heck, he even has his own news network. I just feel his use of Twitter is abusive and harmful and I'm using the communications channels and reach at my disposal to express that. Literally, free speech. Now ask me about the 25th Amendment.

  5. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, January 3, 2018 at 6:56 p.m.

    Standing ovation, Joe. It is about time that the media uses its resources to sanity and truth. People who decide to poke their eyes out and wonder why it is unfair their eyes do not work anymore will never understand why doctors need an education. It's like talking to a wall and why laws are necessary to guarantee free speech. Come to think of it, King George had a particular problem that drove him "mad". Perhaps, those small hands are the root of this evil, too and was inherited.

  6. Dan Ciccone from rEvXP, January 4, 2018 at 12:18 p.m.

    "Abusive" language is subjective and I imagine that is exactly what twitter will respond with.

  7. notf akenews from abc, January 4, 2018 at 1:48 p.m.

    Mediapost is literally fake news now.

  8. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, January 4, 2018 at 1:53 p.m.

    @Dan Ciccone: Agree. But if enough people report the same subjective experience, it would become something that's not subjective. I was just expressing mine. Appreciate others sharing theirs here or with Twitter. But now that you mention it, it's funny that Twitter isn't binary and doesn't allow users to report things that are the opposite of abusive. I would love to know how many people think @realDonaldTrump's "nuclear button" tweet was a positive experience? And I'd especially like to know why?

  9. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, January 4, 2018 at 1:56 p.m.

    @ "notf akenews" -- I'm going to take that for the newspeak complement I think you intended it to be. Thak you.
     

  10. Travis Horn from S3Media, January 4, 2018 at 6:27 p.m.

    Mr. Mandese, as Editor in Chief of Mediapost, you really should find something more productive to do than troll the POTUS on Twitter.

  11. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, January 4, 2018 at 6:38 p.m.

    @Mr. Horn -- Hmm, I can see how you might see it that way, but as EIC of MediaPost, I do many things -- some of them productive -- including authoring a weekly blog about political media and marketing. As for "trolling" POTUS on Twitter, I do that personally, on my own time. As for @realDonadTrump trolling the American public and the world on Twitter, he does that on taxpayers' time.

  12. Travis Horn from S3Media replied, January 4, 2018 at 6:44 p.m.

    You defend speech on the one hand and decry his access to and effective use of social media as a bad thing on the other hand? It makes no sense, and it doesn't seem wise.

  13. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, January 4, 2018 at 10:08 p.m.

    @Mr. Horn - Again, no. Free speech, as defined by the First Amendment, does not protect all speech. It does not, for example, protect speech that leads to illegal activity and/or imminent violence, obscenity, defamation, and libel. You cannot yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater. I never decried @realDonaldTrump's access to social media, but I do object to how he uses it, because I think -- in the case of his "nuclear button" tweet -- it is intended to lead to imminent violence on a scale the world has never seen. Or, as he says, "fire and fury." Whether or not that constitutes free speech or not is debatable, but what I reported -- an abusive tweet -- isn't a free speech issue, but about the enforcement of the terms of service of a company (Twitter) and its users.

    Also, as POTUS, Trump has more access to more communication channels reaching more people than anyone on the planet. As an American citizen, I'd just like him to use it in a more responsible way.

  14. Kevin Lee from Didit, January 5, 2018 at 5:58 p.m.

    Sort of a cop-out, as I predicted money "trumps" policy. https://blog.twitter.com/official/en_us/topics/company/2017/world-leaders-and-twitter.html

  15. Travis Horn from S3Media replied, January 8, 2018 at 1:22 p.m.

    I'm familiar with the First Amendment/speech law as they covered that a bit in law school. You're welcome to your opinion, but that doesn't make it right. In one of your previous articles or tweets, you actually suggested that this POTUS should not have access to or use of Twitter. Your words, not mine. Does he say what I'd say or write what I'd write? Certainly not always, but he has every right to expression. Should we have told FDR not to use the radio for his "fireside chats" with the American people during WWII? If Trump was kicked off or left Twitter, he'd likely create his own microblog type social media platform and have an automatic, built-in audience in no time.

  16. Travis Horn from S3Media replied, January 8, 2018 at 1:24 p.m.

    @ Joe Mandese Note: FDR wasn't very objectively kind to Japanese-Americans if you recall, but History has been fairly kind to him.

  17. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, January 8, 2018 at 1:41 p.m.

    @Mr. Horn, actually what I said in a previous post is that he should be blocked from using @realDonaldTrump to tweet and should be required to use @POTUS instead, so that it is clearly delineated that he is representing the office of the President of the United States. So no, I did not suggest that POTUS should not have access to Twitter.

    That said, if he violates Twitter's terms of use, I think it would be reasonable to block him, which is why I reported his abusive tweet. It's up to Twitter, as a private company, to decide what to do about that, and based on their reason decision not to "block world leaders," i guess they're not going to do anything about that.

    If FDR tweeted abusive things on Twitter, I'd report him too.

    I'm all in favor of Donald Trump using radio to converse with America via fireside chats.

    Re. Trump creating his own microblog, also okay with me. I truly believe in free speech and as I noted, as POTUS, Trump has access to more media channels and more reach than any other human being on the planet. He even has his own TV network, and by that I don't mean Fox News, but the ironically named "Real News:"

    https://www.donaldjtrump.com/media/


  18. Rafael Cosentino from Telanya, January 8, 2018 at 4:02 p.m.

    Joe- Trump's Tweet was 100% factual, 100% called for and I support it 100% as do tens of million of other Americans.  You dont like Trump, thats fine and thats clear.  Is Media Post turning into a personal blog for its writers?  This is totally moronic.

  19. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, January 8, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.

    @Rafael Consentino: Factual, no. He does not have a "button" on his desk to start a nuclear war. (He has one for ordering Cokes.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_football

    Called for? That's a matter of opinion. I expressed mine when I reported him to Twitter and wrote this blog post, which 100% expresses my personal point-of-view, which is why it's a blog and not a news story.

    Is MediaPost turning into a personal blog for its writers? No, just the blogs that reflect their personal opinions, which we've been publishing since we began 20 years ago.

    Re. this is totally moronic, I agree 100%.


  20. Rafael Cosentino from Telanya, January 8, 2018 at 7:10 p.m.

    Joe - read the tweet again, you even got th desk part wrong. I’ve been reading mediApost since around 2003 and have always loved it but your political opinions won’t change anyone’s views, they will only convince around half your readers that this is not the place for them to read about media.  Now if you wanted to start a political blog... that’s different. 

  21. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, January 9, 2018 at 7:15 p.m.

    @Rafael Consentino: I'm not wrong about the button on Trump's desk in the Oval. It's what he uses to order Cokes:

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-does-have-a-button-on-his-desk-but-its-not-for-nukes/article/2644807

    I provided a link explaining the actual means -- the "nuclear football" -- that the President would actually use:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_football

    If you have evidence to the contrary, then you should provide it.

    I don't write blogs and commentaries necessarily to change anyone's views, just to share mine. That's what columnists do.

    I am not qualified and have no interest in starting a political blog. I cover media, and in the case of Red, White & Blog, the role media plays in political marketing. That's explicitly what this column is about. It's just one of many things we publish at MediaPost.

Next story loading loading..