Twitter to Suspend Users Who 'Wish Death' After Trump Tests Positive for COVID-19
Social media platform responds followers flood of hateful posts
Twitter has announced that it will suspend users who post comments wishing for President Donald Trump or First Lady Melania Trump's death after they tested positive for COVID-19.
The social media platform told Vice that users will face suspensions under an “abusive behavior” rule that was put in place in April.
“Content that wishes, hopes or expresses a desire for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against an individual is against our rules,” Twitter said in a statement.
The anti-abuse policy explicitly bans tweets “hoping that someone dies as a result of a serious disease e.g., 'I hope you get cancer and die.'”
It’s not clear how often the rule will be enforced, as Twitter has been flooded with ill wishes to the president since the first couple’s positive test results were announced early Friday morning.
Twitter told Vice it “won’t take enforcement action on every Tweet.”
“We’re prioritizing the removal of content when it has a clear call to action that could potentially cause real-world harm,” Twitter added.
Trump, 74, checked into the Walter Reed military hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, Friday evening after he was administered experimental “polyclonal antibodies.”
He had been experiencing fatigue, according to his doctor, who has not confirmed reports that he was also suffering from a fever.
“I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support,” Trump said in a video message before he flew by helicopter to the hospital.
“I’m going to Walter Reed hospital,” he added.
“I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out.”
After arriving at the hospital, the White House released photos on Saturday night that showed the president working hard while being confined to Walter Reed Medical Center.
White House Senior Communications Advisor Ben Williamson tweeted out one of the photographs of Trump, writing: “The guy’s a machine. @realDonaldTrump getting work in at Walter Reed.”
Deputy Assistant to the President, Judd Deere, shared another photograph on Twitter, writing: “The man never stops working!”
White House physician Sean Conley, D.O., released a statement on the president’s health late on Saturday night, noting that the president has made significant improvements over the last couple of days.
“President Trump continues to do well, having made substantial progress since diagnosis,” Conley wrote in a statement.
“This evening he completed his second does of Remdesivir without complication. He remains fever-free and off supplemental oxygen with a saturation level between 96 and 98% all day.”
“He spent most of the afternoon conducting business, and has been up and moving about the medical suite without difficulty,” the statement continued.
“While not yet out of the woods, the team remains cautiously optimistic.”
“The plan for tomorrow is to continue observation in between doses of Remdesivir, closely monitoring his clinical status while fully supporting his conduct of presidential duties,” the statement concluded.