There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the deference Twitter is showing to Donald Trump by not suspending his account or deleting his tweets when he violates their terms of service with tweets attacking people, or retweeting videos of violent crimes. I agree generally, but I also sympathize with Twitter a little bit here, and with their low-level employees a lot. It’s a pretty complex situation, and one that doesn’t really have a precedent. Twitter is a company that can set their own standards for the use of the platform, but are they allowed to interfere with statements made by government officials? What about running a social media company makes a person qualified to weigh in on the messages of a head of state? What low-level employee reviewing flagged tweets was ever trained or screened for their ability to comprehend the legal issues surrounding deleting a public statement by the American President? Who could possibly be qualified to decide what is and isn’t appropriate for a President to say?
Good news, there is one individual who is eminently qualified and he’s currently between jobs:
That’s right, Twitter; the solution to all your problems is obvious. The only person who can judge the words and actions of a current President, with full understanding of the responsibilities of the job and the legal issues surrounding his statements, is a former President, and we’ve got a perfectly good former President right here. He’s even an erstwhile lawyer, so even MORE qualified to analyze whatever legal or constitutional issues may come up! Actually, what would be even better: If we could just get an annotated version of the tweets that had been obviously fact-checked, edited, and had “Edited by President Barack Obama” at the bottom. Now, I don’t think he’ll come cheap, but honestly when it’s the cost of America’s reputation and/or the fate of the world on the line, who’s going to quibble over an appropriate fee?
That’s what I thought.