Twitter Rules.
January 20, 2017 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: knowing the POTUS historically has been a fan of Twitter, what types of things could a person Tweet to him that would conceivably get them into some type of trouble? To be more explicit, say a person wants to express their feelings about the president's actions or tweets. Legally, what types of thing can one NOT tweet to POTUS? My friend assumes one cannot threaten him in any way, right? But how far could a person express their feelings? What would happen to a person who overstepped that line (whatever that line may be)?
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes to Law & Government (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Secret Service investigates threats to the president, so sometimes they show up in person.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:42 AM on January 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Any threat of harm specifically directed at the President will be triaged and possibly investigated by the Secret Service, at the very least.

But apart from threats that would trigger SS attention, there are just the Twitter Rules to worry about.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:43 AM on January 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

You can't threaten him in any way, but I don't see what other boundaries there are. If we look at what Trump himself tweets, baseless accusations, false "facts" and endless complaining are fair game. Twitter does have rules about harassment and hate speech, but I think Trump (or his people) would have to report the tweets, which strikes me as unlikely. Spamming him may trigger an automated suspension from Twitter's system though.

I will say, Trump probably doesn't see the tweets or care. The second he tweets something, he gets thousands of replies and quotes, some supportive, many critical. It doesn't seem to matter to him at all. But if your friend wants to tweet at Trump, by all means.
posted by AppleTurnover at 11:47 AM on January 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Your friend is asking what the rules and enforcement looks like today. Your friend should not depend on these being the rules and enforcement in future.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:48 AM on January 20, 2017 [34 favorites]

Remember, in addition to any official response they might also become the target of Trump supporters/trolls/who even knows anymore, especially if they push certain buttons.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:06 PM on January 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

I know this isn't what you're asking, but I've been telling everyone I can to simply stop following Trump on Twitter. He gets influence and encouragement from his 20 million plus followers, and the simplest protest would be to refuse to listen to his tweets. #unfollowgrump
posted by areaperson at 12:16 PM on January 20, 2017 [16 favorites]

You cannot threaten their president. However-
You can call his lies
You can call his baseless accusations
You can call his fact free statements
You can call or provide counter arguments with proof (pics, numbers, data e.g would be this where he lies about inauguration attendance and is proved a liar by pics supplied)
You can point a spotlight on what he is doing to gag the press

No threats, only facts and proof. Works like a charm to show a liar who he is and is not fooling anyone.
posted by metajim at 12:37 PM on January 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Hopefully this isn't too off track (feel free to remove if so), but I believe they just told the National al Parks Service to take down their twitter notification system because something about tweeting about a small turnout at the inauguration. So I have a feeling what is acceptable right now will be morphing into something far stricter.
posted by Vaike at 8:54 AM on January 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Depends on where you live. If you live in a country without laws against it, you could in theory threaten the US President perfectly legally.
posted by HFSH at 5:43 AM on January 22, 2017

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