After Trump Targets Union Leader, Twitter Says Rules Apply to All Accounts

On Wednesday a union leader received a number of abusive phone calls after Donald Trump criticized him on Twitter.

|
Dec 8 2016, 3:30pm

Trump at a March 2016 rally in St. Louis. Image: Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock

On Wednesday Chuck Jones, a union leader in Indianapolis, received a number of abusive phone calls after president-elect Donald Trump criticized him on Twitter. According to The Washington Post, about half an hour after Trump's tweets, Jones' phone started to ring.

"What kind of car do you drive?" one voice said.

"We're coming for you," said another.

The question here is: Are Trump's tweets against specific people, broadcast to his 17 million followers, inciting harassment of others, which Twitter's rules prohibit?

When asked if Twitter would ban Trump's account if his targeting of individuals continues, a company spokesperson told Motherboard in an email, "The Twitter Rules apply to all accounts." The company does not comment on individual accounts.

"You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others," those Rules read. Some of the factors that may lean towards abusive behavior include if the primary purpose of the account is to send abusive messages to others, or if the behavior is one-sided or includes threats.

It's debatable whether any of those standards apply to Trump's recent tweets. But there have been similar sort of cases.

Milo Yiannopoulos, a writer from right-wing publication Breitbart, was permanently banned from Twitter for his apparent role in the online abuse and harassment of Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones.

"If at first you don't succeed (because your work is terrible), play the victim. EVERYONE GETS HATE MAIL FFS," Yiannopoulos tweeted in July, according to a screenshot from Buzzfeed.

The first of Trump's tweets from last night read, "Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!"