Trump Admits His Retweets Of Bots And Other Dubious Accounts Is Problematic
President Donald Trump on Tuesday shared a tweet from a user that included a meme image purporting Democrats were the enemies of the American people. That account was later suspended by the social media site.
The user, who went by the name Lynn Thomas (@LYNNTH006607841), was removed from Twitter after the company noted it had violated its rules on conduct.
While the promotion of a conspiracy theory, which was included in the tweet in question, could have possibly resulted in some action from Twitter, the removal was officially due to the site’s rules on artificially attempting to “amplify or disrupt conversations” on the platform by using multiple accounts, according to reporting from Business Insider.
Vox journalist Aaron Rupar took a screenshot of the tweet, demonstrating the vitriol and conspiracy theory-laden nature of the posting.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 30, 2019
“Lynn Thomas” was pushing an unproven and untrue conspiracy theory that Democrats opposed efforts at supporting voter ID laws in order to interfere in elections. Rupar also noted in subsequent tweets that the user alleged published other conspiracy theories being promoted, including one that purported Bill and Hillary Clinton tortured and ate children.
It is the second time this month that an account that Trump retweeted was discovered to be in violation of the site’s rules, according to the Washington Post.
Trump admitted in an interview with C-SPAN this week that sometimes his retweets can cause headaches.
“You know, you retweet something that sounds good, but it turns out to be from a player that’s not the best player in the world,” Trump said. “And that sort of causes a problem.”
Yet Trump didn’t show any signs he’d let up in the future. “If I got fair coverage, I wouldn’t even have to tweet,” the president said. “It’s my only form of defense.”
Although it’s unclear whether this account officially fits the bill or not, the president has a storied history of retweeting accounts with some questionable backgrounds.
In May of this year, for example, the president went on what ABC News described as a “spree” of retweets, promoting the tweets of 60 separate Twitter users in less than an hour in order to push a bias against former Vice President Joe Biden, who is running for president.
Many of the accounts at that time were from legitimate users, but several showed tell-tale signs of being “bots” or “trolls,” users who are either automated accounts or run by individuals who have ulterior political motives.