Social media outlets are responding to posts from those online saying they hope Pres. Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis results in his death.
On Friday, Twitter responded to reports claiming accounts would be suspended for wishing for the President’s death, with the company saying: “tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against anyone are not allowed and will need to be removed. this does not automatically mean suspension.”
Meanwhile, Facebook says the company is removing death threats or content that wishes death, including comments on Trump’s posts or his page, in addition to content tagging him.
But some allege that the new policy is special treatment. Twitter and Facebook have previously been accused of failing to punish death threats, particularly against marginalized communities such as women, people of color and trans individuals.
Many expressed their disappointment on Twitter:
Many top politicians on the other side of the aisle from Trump have given their well wishes following news of the COVID-19 outbreak in the White House, including former President Barack Obama.
On Friday, Obama tweeted:
“Michelle and I hope that the President, First Lady, and all those affected by the coronavirus around the country are getting the care they need and are on the path to a speedy recovery.Barack Obama
Obviously, we’re in the midst of a big political battle right now, and while there’s a lot at stake, let’s remember that we’re all Americans. We’re all human beings. And we want everyone to be healthy, no matter our party.”
Trump’s 2016 Presidential Election competitor Hillary Clinton tweeted:
We wish the President and First Lady a speedy recovery, and hope for the safety of the White House staff, the Secret Service, and others putting their lives on the line. This pandemic has affected so many. We must continue to protect ourselves, our families, and communities.Hillary Clinton