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Twitter warns it will suspend users who publicly hope for Trump’s death

It’s not clear how often Twitter will enforce the rule

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

President Trump reportedly has COVID-19, and while some are wishing for his speedy recovery, others have publicly tweeted a hope that he’ll die of the disease. As you might imagine, that’s expressly against Twitter’s rules — and the company tells Motherboard that it will enforce them.

In other words: You can’t tweet that you hope Trump dies of COVID.

Specifically, Twitter tells the publication that it will suspend people who hope for Trump’s death, though it’s not clear how often Twitter will be able to do so.

On Friday night, Twitter added that it will remove offending content from comments on Trump’s tweets, page, and content tagging him:

Here’s an example of a recent reply to Trump’s original tweet that already seems to be attempting to dodge detection:

And Twitter did tell Motherboard that it won’t act on every single tweet. “We’re prioritizing the removal of content when it has a clear call to action that could potentially cause real-world harm,” reads a statement from Twitter.

In a tweet, the company added that its rules don’t necessarily mean automatic suspension, by the way:

The actual rule that applies here under Twitter’s Abusive Behavior policy, and it’s pretty clear:

Wishing or hoping serious harm on a person or group of people

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 e.g., “I hope you get cancer and die.”

Wishing for someone to fall victim to a serious accident e.g., “I wish that you would get run over by a car next time you run your mouth.”

Saying that a group of individuals deserves serious physical injury e.g., “If this group of protesters don’t shut up, they deserve to be shot.”

Trump is currently headed to the Walter Reed Medical Center for testing and treatment.

Update, October 4th, 12:38PM ET: Added additional clarification from Twitter about content that will be removed.

Update, October 2nd, 7:21PM ET: Added additional guidance from Twitter that these tweets will not automatically result in a suspension.