Trump and Twitter enter a new phase of a tortured relationship

This hasn’t always made things easy for Twitter Inc. Trump frequently violates the company’s rules against election misinformation and has crossed the line with other policies as well, such as glorifying violence and sharing Covid-19 misinformation. But Twitter also treats world leaders differently than regular users, and Trump has avoided the actions the company would likely have taken against him were he a private citizen. That special treatment will soon go away…

Eventually, Twitter created a solution: a warning label appended to tweets from world leaders that violated the rules but were too important to be removed. Twitter now hides such tweets behind an “interstitial,” forcing users to click to read them, and blocks users from liking and commenting on the tweets. But it doesn’t take the tweets down, which would be standard for most other users.

Tweets from former world leaders aren’t protected by this policy, which could result in Twitter removing posts from Trump that would have just been labeled if he were still president. World leaders are also mostly immune from receiving “strikes” against their accounts for patterns of violations. Once he’s no longer in office, Trump’s patterns of use could result in account freezes, suspensions, or even a ban for @realDonaldTrump.