Once again sidestepping whether Donald Trump’s tweets violates its terms of service, the micro-blogging platform has clarified that it will not block world leaders from tweeting. Although it didn’t directly name Trump, in a blog post called “World Leaders on Twitter”, the company said on Friday that there has been a lot of discussion about political figures and world leaders on the platform.
“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” the company said. “It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”
Twitter did not block Trump for his “nuclear button” tweet that stormed the social media which, many thought, raised prospect of nuclear war with North Korea. Trump declared that his nuclear button was “much bigger” and “more powerful” than North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s after the latter threatened the US about Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities.
A number of users reported to the tweet, TechCrunch reported, with the expectation that threatening a war one is capable of starting should violate Twitter’s revised “Terms of Service”, given the company’s recent crackdown on violent threats.
In December, Twitter began enforcing new rules around violent and hateful content posted to its platform to reduce the amount of online abuse, hate speech, violent threats and harassment associated with its service. “You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people,” as per Twitter’s rule about violent threats.
In response to Trump’s threat on Twitter, the company earlier said that it had reviewed the case and “found that there was no violation of the Twitter rules against abusive behaviour”. Moreover, the rules do not apply to whatever Trump posts because of who he is and the “newsworthiness” of his statements, Twitter added.
In the latest blog post, the company said it reviews tweets by leaders within the political context that defines them, and enforce its rules accordingly. “No one person’s account drives Twitter’s growth, or influences these decisions. We work hard to remain unbiased with the public interest in mind.”