If Joe Biden wins the election, President Trump’s “special treatment” by Twitter could end.
Bloomberg reports that the exemption Trump enjoys when he breaks Twitter’s policies will end in January when his term expires, if he isn’t re-elected.
That’s because at the moment, Trump falls under Twitter’s world leaders policy – a specific set of rules that says presidents, prime ministers, and other rulers are newsworthy enough for Twitter to leave their tweets up even when they break the rules (with a handful of very serious exemptions).
This special status is why several of Trump’s tweets have been labelled with warnings and hidden from view, but left online for those who want to click past the warning and read them anyway. Twitter says that’s in the public interest, even if it doesn’t recommend labelled posts to other users through its algorithms.
As one of the most-followed Twitter accounts in the world (with 88 million followers), he has been the most visible example of these warnings – and has frequently railed against them.But as the Bloomberg report points out, the policy only applies to elected officials, those running for office, or those about to take office – such as the named successor to a post.
If Mr Trump loses the election and becomes a private citizen again, he will be treated like anyone else. That means punishments such as suspensions or even a permanent ban could be issued if he repeatedly falls foul of Twitter policies.