Donald Trump’s tweets about Joe Scarborough’s dead intern are inappropriate at best. Seriously, they’re gross.

The thing is, Donald Trump is entitled to tweet vile things. That’s kind of how things work in this country.

So it’s pretty disheartening to see a journalist like Kara Swisher calling for a clampdown on Trump’s free speech in the New York Times:

Aside from the moral preening? We’re really not sure.

Swisher writes:

While the always thoughtful Mr. [Jack] Dorsey has said previously that he has to hew to Twitter’s principles and rules, and that the company cannot spend all of its time reacting, its approach up until now results only in Twitter’s governance getting gamed by players like Mr. Trump, in ways that are both shameless and totally expected.

So why not be unexpected with those who continue to abuse the system? Taking really valuable one-off actions can be laudable since they make an example of someone’s horrid behavior as a warning to others. While it is impossible to stop the endless distribution of a screenshot of the tweets, taking the original ones down would send a strong message that this behavior is not tolerated.

Or, if he must, Mr. Dorsey could set up an independent content board as Facebook has recently done, which could take on thorny questions like this and remove them from his purview. This might seem like a cop-out, but putting these questions up for a more measured debate might be the exit that the company needs to focus on the rest of its business.

Here’s the thing: Donald Trump tweets a lot of garbage. But you know what? Do do a lot of other people. We’ve documented plenty of liberal tweeters who have used Twitter to peddle disgusting things and fake news of their own. Yet we don’t recall Swisher or the New York Times calling for them to be censored.

In fact, Swisher herself has used her Twitter account to indulge unfounded conspiracy theories about Republicans:

Swisher’s piece seems less like a plea for decency and more like a plea for Trump to be punished. What could possibly go wrong?

***

Related:

Twitter will not remove President Trump’s tweets on Joe Scarborough and the death of Lori Klausutis