President Donald Trump keenly understands the power of social media to get out a message. His tweets on Twitter, informative, inspiring, or off putting have all gone viral, discussed and picked apart endlessly on cable news. Now Valerie Plame, a former CIA analyst who was at the center of a scandal during the second Bush administration, would like to take access to Twitter away from the president. She is currently trying to achieve this in a rather unique way.

How Plame is raising money

Plame proposes to buy a controlling stake in Twitter to cut off President Trump from his favorite form of communication.

Instead of going the conventional route of lining up investors or taking out a bank loan to raise funds, she has started a GoFundMe page to raise a billion dollars that she says will buy controlling interest in the company. As of this writing, Plame has raised just over $11,000. Failing the raising of a billion dollars, Plame plans to buy enough shares to get her a significant voice at a stockholder’s meeting.

Why is she doing this?

Plame is most concerned that Trump will use Twitter to start a nuclear war. He has posted threats to North Korea, which is developing nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them against American and allied targets. So far the threats have had the intended effect of deterring the North Koreans from further aggressive actions.

The problems with Plame’s scheme

The first and obvious problem is the sheer impossibility of raising a billion dollars on a GoFundMe page. A billion is an immense amount of money to raise under any circumstances. One cannot but think that the campaign is a publicity stunt. Otherwise, what was Plame doing analyzing top secret intelligence at the CIA?

Second. Twitter is valued at about $12 billion currently. That means that Plame would need to raise considerably more money to take over the company.

Finally, Trump represents a considerable amount of Twitter’s current valuation and is the 27th most followed tweeter. Moreover, cutting off the president of the United States from social media would have dire political and financial consequences for the company.

Trump will maintain he is being singled out for political reasons. The investigations that would ensue, anti-trust and otherwise, would be epic. Trump has not violated Twitter’s terms of service by threatening North Korea. What he did was a necessary part of statecraft which seems to have deterred a war rather than incited one. In any case, Plame’s scheme appears to be a mad one on its face.

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