War over Iran already raging on Twitter: users call for Trump ban, claim suspension over ‘No war on Iran’ image

5 Jan, 2020

Twitter’s dubious enforcement of its own rules is back in the spotlight after Trump threatened to strike Iran and destroy Iranian cultural treasures. Trump’s tweet remains, but many wonder whether it’s prohibited speech.

Users are supposedly not allowed to threaten violence or glorify acts of violence on Twitter. And many people believe US President Donald Trump did just that when he threatened to attack 52 Iranian sites, including some of cultural significance, on his Twitter account. They are calling on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to suspend the man in the White House for breaking the rules.

Trump’s threat follows a warning of retaliation from Iran for the targeted assassination of one of its most prominent generals, which was carried out on Friday on the US president’s orders. The move marks a rapid escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The news of the death of Qassem Soleimani was met with much anxiety online, with hashtags related to a possible World War 3 trending globally on Twitter throughout Friday. The website of the US Selective Service System even reported service problems amid rumors of an imminent draft.

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While it’s highly unlikely that Twitter will make the dreams of Trump critics come true and cut off the president, it seems to have done some work on managing the public debate over how to proceed. Journalist and author Yasha Levine reported that Twitter algorithms forced him to remove an image saying “No war on Iran” in block capitals, and several other users said it happened to them too.

Levine somewhat proudly called himself a repeat offender. A vocal critic of Silicon Valley and its cooperation with the US intelligence community, he was temporarily suspended by Twitter last month for a sarcastic take on Washington’s Ukraine policy.

Anti-war sentiment raged not only on Twitter but also on the streets, as thousands of US citizens staged protests against the escalation of violence in several large cities on Saturday.

Published at https://www.rt.com/usa/477509-twitter-ban-iran-war/