Twitter refuses to mute world leaders like Donald Trump

06 January, 2018, 03:57 | Author: Simon Thompson
  • Twitter explains why it won't block Trump

The statement did not mention Mr Trump by name but follows his spat with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the ability of the hermit state to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S. mainland.

Twitter said shutting down Trump's account after the controversial post "would hide important information people should be able to see and debate".

The protests come in response to Trump's tweet regarding a nuclear button that is "bigger and more powerful" than the North Korean leader's.

At the time, Twitter said the tweet in question did not violate its terms of service. A group in San Francisco, however, is turning its attention not to Trump, but to Twitter and its CEO Jack Dorsey.

In an interview with USA broadcaster Voice of America, Pence said the president's leadership on the world stage has resulted in "measurable progress", especially on the issue of North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Resistance SF claims that, by not barring Trump for his provocative tweet about North Korea on Tuesday, Twitter is intentionally skirting its terms of service. No one person's account drives Twitter's growth, or influences these decisions. Instead, it is credited to "Twitter, Inc".

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A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that the tweet does not violate its terms of service because it is not a "specific threat". "Dorsey's handle on Twitter is "@jack", and President Donald Trump's is "@realDonaldTrump".

"I think it's really important that we maintain open channels to our leaders, whether we like what they're saying or not, because I don't know of another way to hold them accountable", Dorsey told Backchannel in early 2017.

While plenty of Trump's older tweets dabble in online harassment, it sounds like anything goes for world leaders so long as they're elected. "A mixture of fact checking, disagreement, agreement, and some random things". And having prominent figures post contentious remarks can help Twitter's business by attracting new users.

In a blog post the company said its objective "is to serve and help advance the global, public conversation" and therefore would not remove content from elected leaders.

It's also not clear if there is an instance in which Twitter would remove a world leader's messages or account. "We work hard to remain unbiased with the public interest in mind", it added.

Though, they did say they are "working to make Twitter the best place to see and freely discuss everything that matters", so there's that.



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