How Twitter Starts The Next Big War, Unless You Act To Stop Them…

A pair of American B-1 Lancer bombers is flying north northeast along the border of North Korean air space. Accompanying the bombers is a squadron of F-15C Eagle fighter jets. The crews are aware of the fact that North Korea may have a policy of shoot first and ask questions later, as a response to a tweet by the Russian-installed president of the United States, in which he threatened to kill the psychopathic leader of North Korea.

(I fear for a big drop in Tom Clancy novels, as they are no longer challenging or outlandish. But I digress. Back to the bombers.)

There was never any intent for these bombers to move into North Korean air space. In fact, the bombers are not armed. This is an annoyance mission, mere saber rattling in response to North Korean rhetoric that was, in turn, a response to the tweet by the President.

Suddenly, a nearby RQ-4 Global Hawk Drone detects a pair of MiG-29s moving at high speed on an intercept path with the bombers and their accompanying F-15Cs. The MiGs are armed but they are under orders to harass but not fire on the American planes. However, the American fighters do not know their intentions, but they do know that there will be no opportunity to stop the MiGs from destroying the bombers if they chose to fire missiles over the next minute or so, unless they act now. So, the fighters turn towards the MiGs, lock on, and fire their AMRAAM misles.

The bombers change to a defensive course, and even as the last bits of the MiGs float at various speeds down to the sea after being exploded in mid air, American and North Korean fighter aircraft are scrambling on both sides of the demilitarized zone. More ominously, senior officers in the North Korean People's Army Air Force, the United States Strategic Air Command, and the US Navy Pacific Command automatically move their missile firing units to ready alert and arm a variety of conventional and nuclear missiles, ready to launch in seconds.

While all this is happening, American President Donald Trump is in the White House. It is late at night, and he is in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet. At first, he just needed to pee, as is often the case with men of his age, with their increasingly swollen prostrates. But then he decided he wanted to spend a little more time in the privacy of his bathroom. With the door locked, he has had his smart phone out, and has been scrolling through the tweets from the special list he calls "Enemies_of_me," and he is becoming increasingly agitated at the negativity. Many of the nasty tweets are about his handling of North Korea, since his earlier tweet that the North Koreans took, reasonably, as a declaration of war.

There is a knock at the bathroom door. It is Trump's personal assistant.

"You have to go to the situation room, sir," calls John. "They say they need you now."

"Tell them I'll come by in the morning," the President responds.

"Sir, they say they need you now, I need you to buck up and come down the the situation room. They say it is urgent."

"OK, OK, I'll be there in the very near future. Did they say what is about?"

"Sir, they didn't say but I think it is about Korea. North Korea."

"OK, just one second. I'm coming."

Time for one tweet, he thinks. But I'm going to make it a good one. How about this ....

Over the next hour, the era of nuclear threat ends and the beginning of the age of nuclear war begins.

Let's pause for a moment and consider a couple of other stories.

In August, 2017, a Twitter user in Japan was bitten by a mosquito. He tweeted, "Bastard! Where do you get off biting me all over while I'm just trying to relax and watch TV? Die! (Actually you're already dead)."

He was then banned by twitter.

Milo Yiannopoulos, white supremacist troll, was banned by Twitter for making racist comments.

Back in mid 2016, it was revealed that at least a couple of major companies decided to not buy Twitter (presumably at a high price) because they did not want to own a social networking venue in which bullies and bullying were so common. Perhaps in response to concern about this, Twitter may have increased its tendency to ban bullies, despite the fact that there manages to be an increasing number of certain kinds of accounts, notably those that are racist or white supremacist.

Yesterday, a friend of mine sent Trump a tweet that implied that Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, had won the election. She was banned from Twitter.

So, clearly, the banning practices of Twitter have economic meaning. Clearly, Twitter can be very bad at making decisions about banning individuals, and has no clear or reasonable policy. (As I write this Twitter is promising to let everyone know what its policies really are, and how those policies allow Donald Trump to threaten to kill people to keep their accounts, while someone who gets snarky at the President gets banned.)

My point here is that Twitter is at sea, and Twitter is allowing something very dangerous to develop. Twitter is the vehicle by which Donald Trump has isolated America among world powers, it is the vehicle by which Trump has made repeated racist and sexist attacks on our own citizens, and now, it is the vehcile by which Trump is bringing the United States to the brink of war. One highly respected expert on US-North Korea relations puts our chance of conventional war with North Korea at about 50%, and the chance of nuclear war with North Korea at about 10%. Other experts see those numbers as low.

Because of Trump tweeting. And Trump gets to tweet because Twitter lets him.

Let it be said today, and remembered for all time, that every person who dies in any upcoming conflict with North Korea will have died in no small part because Twitter does not ban Donald Trump's account.

Watch the following overview of US and North Korea conflict provided as context to the situation of this very morning:

Now, go to this tweet. Click on the little down arrow in the upper right, and chose "Report Tweet," if you understand and agree with why this is a problem.

Note: the above tweet about blowing up Kim Jong-un is a fake tweet. Hard to tell, though, isn't it?

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There was never any intent for these bombers to move into North Korean air space. In fact, the bombers are not armed. This is an annoyance mission, mere saber rattling

yup. Exactly the type of chest pumping bullcrap that U.S. officials (and Western European officials) scream about being so dangerous and needs to stop when Russia does it to us or them.

The answer to why twitter doesn't ban President Trump may have some political reason to it, but the greatest reason is money: they would lose a metric buttload of money if they got rid of the president.

Dean, it depends. Disney was ready to pay gazillions to buy Twitter but backed out because of the bullshit. It may be that Twitter accepts that it will exist at a lower value, and with a real liability, but I'm not sure why they would do that.

Looking at their explanation of why they didn't delete his tweet about NK (the one that prompted them to say he'd declared war) where they said they consider "newsworthiness" and whether tweets are "important to the public interest" it's clear they are giving themselves lots of wiggle room on this. They pulled a similar comment earlier in the year after his twitter comments about the woman on morning joe (name escapes me: I don't watch MSNBC). Then it was that he hadn't attacked her directly.

So clearly they're pushing the limits of their rules of behavior, and my thinking was this: banning any public figure, especially the president, will bring a huge, likely long-lasting backlash, that will hurt them financially.

Not only would it hurt twitter financially, but censoring tweets which are clearly opinion, while not a 1st amendment problem for a private company, is not cool and frowned upon in America.

There is an urge in this country NOT to simply delete speech which we disagree with.

RickA, they should not censor tweets. But, they should be throwing people who use Twitter to create dangerous situations off the service.

Is the tweet included in your fable real or fake? "Rocket Man Kim Jong-un is a sad sad man. He doesn't believe I will blow him up but I will."

By David Kirtley (not verified) on 26 Sep 2017 #permalink

Poe's law?

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 26 Sep 2017 #permalink

Twitter has a policy of removing people who use their platform to threaten or harass others. That isn't suppressing unpopular opinions, but it is too complicated an issue for libertarians and supporters of the president to understand.

You write: "and how those policies allow Donald Trump to threaten to kill people to keep their accounts"

Surely you mean "allow Donald Trump to threaten to kill people and keep HIS account..."

>they would lose a metric buttload of money if they got rid of the president.

They turned down money from the Trump campaign for some ads they wanted to run, some sort of special gifs.

Twitter has likely served to deescalate North Korea. Trump issues tweets chiding China for being unable to deal with the issue. China gets North Korea to back down a little bit, approves some sanctions at UN, and at least makes a show of stopping imports of coal. They are also going after some businessmen dealing with NK.

David Kirtley #6:

The tweet in Greg's hypo is not real. It is a "what if" example.

dean #8 says "Twitter has a policy of removing people who use their platform to threaten or harass others."

So Twitter must not think Trump's tweets threaten or harass others.

Having a policy that says they do X doesn't always translate to doing X.

Rather like humans having the ability to think but libertarians not exercising that ability.

dean #14:

Then the policy doesn't support your argument in #8.

I have noticed that progressives often do not exercise their ability to think either.

"So Twitter must not think Trump’s tweets threaten or harass others"

Nope. They just forgot to tell people there is another rule: "newsworthiness".

“So Twitter must not think Trump’s tweets threaten or harass others”

Bullcrap. Twitter will allow an adolescent, immature, narcissistic POTUS in the body of a fat, old man to say whatever he likes because they are in thrall to the ruling elites. If any of the 'normal' plebs wrote such piffle they would be banned.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 26 Sep 2017 #permalink

Thanks for noticing my point rickA. Keep up your usual dishonesty and lies.

dean #18:

Thank you for inviting me to keep on posting on topics of interest and what my opinions are about those topics.

In the meantime, will you please keep up your hilariously incorrect mind reading and consequent incorrect accusations of dishonesty and lies.

I knew I could count on you.

The Maddow program of 27 September started with an extended commentary of Facebook's participation in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It's not just Twitter that aids and abets the use of Russian propaganda in the political affairs of other, sovereign nations...

People need to wake up the the fact that the Russians are supreme masters of espionage, propaganda, and cyber warfare. They are running rings around the West, and if the West's (remaining) leaders do not wake up and grasp the nettle then Western democracy will be racing the Great Barrier Reef to effective extinction.

If we don't get our online houses in order the result will be the eventual disorder of entire nations.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 Sep 2017 #permalink

They aren't incorrect rickA. Telling the truth about science, society, or anything, us an alien concept to you, as you demonstrate on a regular basis.

dean #21:

Prove it.