Lori Kaye Klausutis is the woman who died 19 years ago in a tragic accident, and who the president of the United States is now repeatedly baselessly insinuating was murdered by her boss, Joe Scarborough. Her widower wrote a now-much-publicized letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. His letter is worth reading in full. His request is simple, and puts Twitter is a seemingly untenable position:
My request is simple: Please delete these tweets.
I’m a research engineer and not a lawyer, but I’ve reviewed all of
Twitter’s rules and terms of service. The President’s tweet that
suggests that Lori was murdered — without evidence (and contrary
to the official autopsy) — is a violation of Twitter’s community
rules and terms of service. An ordinary user like me would be
banished from the platform for such a tweet but I am only asking
that these tweets be removed.
This is not just “Trump being Trump”. It’s not just “Trump versus Scarborough, and Scarborough can take it, he hosts a TV show he can fight back from”. There are completely innocent bystanders who get pulled to the forefront of something like this.
I’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the President
of the United States has taken something that does not belong to
him — the memory of my dead wife — and perverted it for
perceived political gain.
We are deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the
attention they are drawing, are causing the family. We’ve been
working to expand existing product features and policies so we can
more effectively address things like this going forward, and we
hope to have those changes in place shortly.
A “Get the facts about Lori Klausutis’s death” link at the bottom of Trump’s tweets isn’t going to do anything. Deleting the tweets is the least Twitter could do to actually do anything at all about Donald Trump using their platform to inflict profound emotional pain on Klausutis’s family and friends.
As it stands, no matter how sorry Twitter is about the pain these tweets are causing, they’re implicitly OK with them.
★ Wednesday, 27 May 2020