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"These are blatant threats": Kamala Harris urges Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to suspend President Trump's account

Should Twitter suspend Trump's account?

Senator Kamala Harris is urging Twitter to suspend President Donald Trump's account following what she called "blatant threats that put people at risk and our democracy in danger." In a passionately-worded letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the presidential candidate cited a number of tweets that appear to violate the social media platform's terms of service and called on the company to take action. 

Harris pointed to six of the president's tweets referencing the whistleblower who filed a complaint about Mr. Trump's call with the president of Ukraine, leading to the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry. The tweets "target" and "harass" the whistleblower, as well as others involved in the complaint and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Harris wrote. 

Harris also cited Mr. Trump's tweet insinuating a "civil war" could erupt if the impeachment process continues, and another in which he called the impeachment process "a COUP." "Hey, @jack. Time to do something about this," she wrote.

"These are blatant threats," Harris wrote in her letter to Dorsey. "We need a civil society, not a civil war. These tweets represent a clear intent to baselessly discredit the whistleblower and officials in our government who are following the proper channels to report allegations of presidential impropriety, all while making blatant threats that put people at risk and our democracy in danger."

Twitter told CBS News it has received the letter and intends to respond.

Twitter's user agreement prohibits content that promotes violence against an identifiable target, and states it will remove users from the platform when applicable. "We have a zero-tolerance policy against violent threats," the platform said

Twitter has long struggled with how to handle hate speech and the spread of disinformation on the platform, especially when it comes to political figures. In June, the platform said it would continue to allow politicians and government officials to violate certain rules, considering the debate to be in the interests of the public. However, Twitter said it may put a notice on those tweets and not elevate them in the algorithm. 

As for Harris's request, "It's going nowhere," according to Wired editor-in-chief and CBS News contributor Nick Thompson. He told CBSN, "I mean, this is — Twitter's not going to ban Donald Trump. They've created an exemption for him."

"They're not gonna ban Donald Trump," he continued. "This debate has been had — Twitter's had it internally. They're not gonna do it. Kamala Harris knows that. She's just saying this to get attention and get us to talk about it."

Harris's letter cited a number of users who have been suspended or banned by Twitter for harassment and disinformation in the past, including InfoWars host Alex Jones, "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli and actor James Woods. 

"No user, regardless of their job, wealth, or stature should be exempt from abiding by Twitter's user agreement, not even the President of the United States," she wrote. 

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