My sidekick, Chris Waldron, believes it's time for thinking Americans to abandon Twitter and ignore Donald Trump's tweets, and for the media to stop reporting on blitzkrieg of BS. I disagree. Here's his argument. Then, mine.
Waldron: It's Time to Abandon Twitter
It’s no secret that Trump’s favorite social media is Twitter. It’s a rare day when he doesn’t bombard us with Tweets. He uses this medium to spread conspiracy theories, create misinformation, attack the media and ridicule anyone who dares to disagree with him.
What if we abandoned Twitter? What if the media refused to report his outlandish Tweets? Could this take the wind out of his sails?
If we stopped using Twitter, and the media stopped reporting on his Tweets, all Trump would have left as followers are his base and the Russian trolls and bots who populate, and re-Tweet, his lies.
This would certainly put a huge dent in his re-election chances. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced a shutdown of his rallies. Blaming the media, he is now stating he will stop the daily Coronavirus briefings.
All he would have left is Twitter.
While Twitter has explicit rules for suspending accounts for use of threatening and intimidating behavior, it has refused to suspend Trump’s Twitter account despite numerous violations of this policy. Twitter execs explicitly this by stating Trump’s Tweets have “clear public interest value”. So, once again, Donald Trump is proving that the rules don’t apply to him.
World leaders have criticized Trump for using Twitter as a means of communication. Democrats in Congress have protested Trump’s use of Twitter to notify his intent to declare a National Emergency when he circumvented Congress to get money for his signature border wall.
And yet, he’s allowed to keep doing it.
It’s time for a social media revolution! Delete your Twitter account. Refuse to follow or acknowledge his lying Tweets.
This may be the only way we can stop this daily flow of misinformation. As his audience dwindles, he will inevitably attempt to find other ways to stay in the public eye.
Or perhaps he will diminish in relevance and slowly fade into obscurity.
Gatty: You're wrong, Chris
Deleting our Twitter accounts would be like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. (Where did that saying come from, anyway?) Or, it would be like cutting off your nose off to spite your face. (Ouch!)
Why should we let Trump's idiocy hamper our ability to otherwise communicate and to express our disagreement with, and directly to him?
There are those who advocate unfollowing @realDonaldTrump, which is the primary account the #orangeOne uses to spread his propaganda, as a way to protest while reducing his Twitter numbers, of which he is so proud.
But I disagree with that approach, too, because those who oppose him are now able to fire back, disagree with him directly, retweet his inanity with comments, and spread their criticisms and points-of-view throughout Twittersphere. That is a powerful tool for us to use because it gives us a way to vent directly to him and his supporters. It also is an extremely important way to exercise our Constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech.
I also disagree that the #mainstreamMedia should stop reporting on Trump's Tweets. If the media did that, it would leave a huge information void that would quickly be filled by rightwing outlets like #FoxNews and #Breitbart. That would further bolster their influence, which would strengthen and no doubt broaden Trump's support.
Yes, Trump misuses #Twitter and those who run that platform should tighten up. Rules should apply to him, the same as any other user. He thinks he is above the law, and he acts like he's above the law. Letting him get away with abusive violations on Twitter simply bolsters that attitude. But that's on Twitter to do, so perhaps there needs to be a campaign to encourage such action.
Finally, Chris says abandoning Trump on Twitter would reduce his audience and "perhaps he will diminish in relevance and slowly fade into obscurity."
The only way Donald Trump will fade into obscurity is if he is defeated November 3, hauled out of the White House, and sent to jail where his cellphone and laptop should be confiscated.
Then, Donald Trump's Twitter storm would go dark. And peace would reign upon the land.