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Twitter to remove tweets wishing for Trump’s death from Covid

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Twitter has categorically said that it will proactively remove tweets by those who wish for US President Donald Trump’s death on the platform and will put their accounts into a “read only” mode for violating its policies.

After Trump announced on Friday that he and his wife Melania Trump had tested positive for Covid-19, several people took to Twitter, openly calling for Trump’s death from the deadly respiratory disease.

Twitter told Motherboard on Saturday that users are not allowed to openly hope for Trump’s death on the platform and that tweets that do so “will have to be removed”.

On its ‘abusive behaviour’ policy page, Twitter says: “We do not tolerate content that wishes, hopes or expresses a desire for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against an individual or group of people.

“This includes, but is not limited to, hoping that someone dies as a result of a serious disease.”

Trump has been admitted to the nation’s premier military hospital in Washington for several days, limiting his campaigning in the crucial month before the November 3 US presidential elections.

His doctor Sean Conley said on Friday night that he had recommended moving Trump to the Walter Reed Military Medical Centre after consulting specialists from there and the Johns Hopkins University.

The Walter Reed hospital, which has among the best equipment and experts, is usually the first stop for military personnel wounded in wars abroad.

Facebook, however, says that its policy distinguishes between public figures and private individuals because “we want to allow discussion, which often includes critical commentary of people who are featured in the news or who have a large public audience”.

“For public figures, we remove attacks that are severe as well as certain attacks where the public figure is directly tagged in the post or comment,” Facebook says.

The report said that what this means is that “it’s OK to post on Facebook” that you hope Trump dies, so long as you do not tag him in the post or “purposefully expose” him to “calls for death, serious disease, epidemic disease, or disability”.