Surprising precisely no one, Trump contracted the novel coronavirus. Equally unsurprisingly, a lot of people aren’t exactly displeased by this which has Twitter cracking down on death wishes.
“Content that wishes, hopes or expresses a desire for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against an individual is against our rules,” is the official statement from Twitter on the matter. Supposedly it was already on the books under its abusive behaviour rules.
Now that it’s become an issue for Trump, rather than say, women, minorities, or just regular non-Presidential half-baby people.
Of course, the main reason this is being seen as utterly ridiculous is because people on Twitter have been receiving death threats since the beginning of the platform. Legitimate ones too, ones that aren’t levelled against a likely impossible to reach figure in society protected by armed forces and bodyguards.
Death threats a whole lot more real than “Gee, I hope that virus I have no will or control over kills a man who likely caused the death of hundreds of thousands of citizens he’s meant to protect by denying its existence and seeming to do whatever he can to ensure it spreads”.
That’s not actually a death threat. That’s just a hope. I happen to be a Hope and am thus an expert. In fact, I give you all permission to ‘me’ that Donald Trump dies from COVID-19. Even @Hope_Corrigan Trump dies.
I don’t know how that’ll hold up against Twitter’s new bullshit rules because they are, in fact, bullshit. Probably as bullshit as subbing me in for hope.
Here’s the thing about hope, as a Hope with a lot of time to ponder such things. It’s basically useless. People often tell me “What a beautiful name” and I often say “Yeah, thanks” and smile because I no longer want to talk to them. Hope is a lie we tell ourselves to get through. It’s a lazy effortless whimper. It’s a plea. The line between hoping and hopeless is just how much of the first we’ve done and are tired from. Sure, it gets us through at times like a survival instinct but it often just keeps us in a position to feel pain.
Ultimately, I’m not a big fan of hope.
So saying that you “hope someone dies” or even that you “@Hope_Corrigan someone dies”, while potentially not very nice, is pretty harmless. Especially to someone like the President who would get an overwhelming amount of that noise anyway – regardless of who they are.
Which is why so many are so rightly livid about this statement from Twitter. This platform has turned a blind eye to actual threats time and time again. They won’t even ban Nazis from the platform even though they know who a bunch are because they legally have to lock them down in Germany. These are people whose very existence is the hope and often action of death upon others. But apparently, that’s fine.
But we knew that already because we know Twitter doesn’t care.
In uncannily related news, a survey has found that 65% of Australian women have been exposed to online abuse, and one in five have feared for their physical safety due to such threats. Add LGBTQ+ factors and it goes even higher.
None of these platforms care, not Twitter, not Facebook, nor the dinguses who run them.
That’s why I can watch my friends get doxxed, receive actual death threats to themselves and their family featuring information like scarily correct addresses, be harassed constantly by the creation of new accounts, and not have Twitter even bat an eye.
I’ve read tweets that have made my skin go cold for the danger they represent. A lot of them have been from the @hope_corrigan-fully soon-to-be-dead Trump himself.
I want to be outraged by this, but I’m not. I just hope things get better. Maybe that means I hope bad people die so they can stop hurting the process. But ultimately, that hope does nothing. Just like Twitter when people are in real danger. I bet they really hope this helps.