Emerging Ethics Dilemma of Social Media Platforms with posts that allegedly kill users.



Twitter is in a tough spot. It made no profits until Trump became President. Now it cannot dump Trump for risk of losing a new-found fortune. Do ethics even enter the equation? People are dying.

What is the ethical responsibility of social media platform owners making hordes of money using content provided by irresponsible leaders, content that results in death?

The current thinking is that Twitter and Facebook have absolute impunity.


by Micheal John


“The things Trump writes, his words, have consequences that grow in frequency and measure of impact with the number of persons he reaches. Twitter, is one way for each word to reach millions of people, in a second, causing their smartphones to bleep, since early 2017 when Donald Trump brought his wonky tweets to the White House,” says Katie Alsop who led a massive protest against Facebook for  The RINJ Foundation in 2010

Trump Tweet Consequences have been loss of life say Epidemiology Statisticians

“In mid-April, we heard US President Donald Trump encouraging his followers to get out and demonstrate against governors who were imposing ‘stay-at-home’ rules for populations in the hope of reducing COVID-19 infections and as they were saying, ‘flattening the curve'”, notes Fred Harris a computer scientist who has been researching and assembling data for hourly global reports on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deaths Caused By Trump Tweets may have exceeded Five Dozen Lives

“Trump’s tweets were “Liberate [STATE-NAME]” and in each case he got protestors out in the streets wearing no masks and taking no precautions like distancing,” said Harris.

“And we know now we can estimate that from these demonstrations there were well over 1,000 new infections that resulted in more than 60 deaths by mid-June,” he added. “And these are still early days.”

Twitter-Trump ViolenceAlliance

One feminist calling her Blog “The Aurora Princess” asks these rhetorical questions: Using Twitter to help “Liberate” Democrat States , how many people has Donald Trump caused to be infected with the coronavirus?
Using Twitter to stir up “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations and infuriate demonstrators, how many people has Donald Trump caused to be infected with the coronavirus?
Using Twitter to heap derision and hatred upon journalists, how many reporters has Trump caused to be visited with all forms of violence?
Using Twitter to attack Buffalo human rights defender Martin Gugino, how many new attacks on this seriously injured man has Trump and Twitter incurred?

What about National Disaster Tweets?

Yesterday, an investigation report into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) determined that the agency compromised its scientific integrity policy by supporting a false statement by Donald Trump regarding the path of Hurricane Dorian, despite knowing the tweet was false. Apparently the NOAA had been pressured to back the “SharpieGate” ordeal created by Trump who created a false NOAA map to back up his phony Tweet. Nobody FPMag asked had any idea why Trump told this lie.

The Twitter Ethics Question first arose when Trump came into office. It apparently is still not answered.

Bloomberg View editorials going back to the early months of the Trump presidency have considered the balance of benefit versus damage and danger from Trump’s tweets from a global perspective. Those editors wrote that “Trump’s tweets have recklessly upended American policy from Qatar to China to North Korea. … They have unnerved financial markets, antagonized allies, emboldened dictators, abetted foreign intelligence agencies…”

Irina Raicu is the director of the Internet Ethics program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Director Raici has mused in writing, that “the power and peril of the president’s tweets present an ethical dilemma. As a responsible corporate citizen, what should Twitter do? As ethical users of the service, what should we ask of it?”

Consequences increase with the number of “followers” the Tweet has on the social media platform. Is that a true statement?

According to various news reports, poison control centers across the United States have had a surge of emergency calls from across the United States related to the consumption in one form or another of disinfectant liquids. This happened since Donald Trump began a campaign favouring the use of specific medications as a prevention for COVID-19 and his viral suggestion of using ingested disinfectants as a way of preventing or curing COVID-19, a pandemic disease caused by the SARS-CoV2 pathogen.

One Pharmacist’s association publication  reported on 27 April that,

“The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene saw a rise in calls specifically pertaining to exposure to household cleaners within 18 hours of Trump’s remarks on Thursday.

“That is more than double the number of cases the center recorded during the same period last year.

“Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland,” claims the report, “also said on Sunday that emergency hotlines in their states recorded an increase in calls from people looking for guidance since Trump’s remarks. “We have seen an increase in numbers of people calling poison control, and so I think it’s really important that every one of us with a platform disseminate medically accurate information,” Whitmer said.

“Hogan said his state saw “hundreds of calls come into our emergency hotline at our health department asking if it was right to ingest Clorox or alcohol cleaning products, whether that was going to help them fight the virus.”

Trump instructed followers with above stylized “Liberate Virginia” tweet.

In another incident in a series of cryptic commands to his “MAGA-Force”, Donald Trump seemed to be using code words as a paramilitary “call to action” when he told followers to “Liberate Michigan”.

 

It had started with Minnesota.

Response to Trump's Liberate Minnesota

Photo Credit: Courtesy The RINJ Foundation Which has launched a boycott of Twitter and its advertisers.

Trump’s Followers’ Racist Attacks against the World Health Organization

It would only be a matter of time before Civil Society raised hell, which it did last week, but why has it taken this long?

“There are too many leaders who have failed their populations,” says Michele Francis of The RINJ Foundation in Venezuela. She is leading a group of public health clinics in the Amazon Basin of Venezuela to help thwart the devastation of public health and safety by despotic junta-leader Nicolás Maduro Moros.

“In Trump’s case, he has become progressively worse until lately he has become emboldened and is killing his citizens much like Jair Bolsonaro, Nicolás Maduro and their kind,” she added.

“Trump’s attacks on Mr. Martin Gugino were the last straw in a series of deadly missives on Twitter which we now know have killed people who attended his many anti-lockdown rallies in mid-April.”

“Mr. Gugino who is a 75-year-old human rights defender has his skull fractured by police. Trump tried to get his supporters to turn on the man, hence he has been kept under guard in a hospital,” said the human rights and health care frontliner.

“When Trump attacks human rights defenders, he is attacking us. And we fight back hard and smart when we come under attack.”

75 Year old Martin Gugino recovering in hospital from police inflicted head injuries is now the latest Victim of Donald Trump's Twitter Violence

75 Year old Martin Gugino recovering in hospital from police inflicted head injuries is now the latest Victim of Donald Trump’s Twitter Violence. Photo Credit: Left-> Mark Colville of the Religion News Serviice and right -> Justin Norman / Shrieking Tree

Feminist Blogs have begun to pick up the story and are calling for a boycott of Twitter and Trump.

  1. Trump-Twitter attack on Human Rights Defender Martin Gugino earns BOYCOTT
  2. Outing The #Violencealliance Of Trump – Twitter. A Boycott Of Twitter Sought By Civil Society Group RINJ
  3. Boycott Twitter Advertisers & Trump-Twitter Alliance Against Human Rights Defenders.
  4. The trump – Twitter ViolenceAlliance makes money and kills people. Boycott Twitter

According to Francis and her colleagues, the group and its partners are lobbying women around the world to “Boycott Twitter” and not allow the platform to become embroiled in an election scandal and continue as the cause of more deaths.

When asked if Twitter was being given some kind of ultimatum to drop Trump from its platform, Francis said, “Katie says we are not asking for anything from Twitter. It has already shown its malignancy and the choices it has made makes it a grave danger to the safety of children and their families around the world. We cannot accept that under any circumstances.”

“Try Mastadon. We are doing that,” she added. 

Boycott Trump - Twitter

From BoycottTwitter Campaign Statement with permission.

Trump’s Civil Disobedience Call-to-Action seems to have caused thousands of infections and dozens of COVID-19 deaths