Monday, 23 April, 2018

Twitter refuses to mute world leaders like Donald Trump

Carlos Barria  Reuters
President Donald Trump in the Oval Office Carlos Barria Reuters President Donald Trump in the Oval Office
Edward Snyder | 06 January, 2018, 03:35

Twitter Inc on Friday reiterated its stance that accounts belonging to world leaders have special status on the social media network, pushing back against users who have called on the company to banish U.S. President Donald Trump.

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. The indignation over the president's latest tweets was so deep that some protesters projected signs onto Twitter's headquarters building in San Francisco this week calling the service "Trump's dog whistle".

The company also sought to counter assertions that controversial figures like Trump were kept on the platform largely because they helped Twitter's bottom line.

Following the tweet, critics argued that Mr Trump's continued presence on the network was endangering the world and violating Twitter's ban on threats of violence.

"North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"

But Twitter reiterated its stance, saying: "Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation due to their outsized impact on our society".




Twitter's rules "prohibit promoting violence against or directly attacking or threatening other people on the basis of their group characteristics, as well as engaging in abusive behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another person's voice".

The company said Friday that it reviews all tweets, including those of world leaders.

For example, Twitter in November declined to remove videos that Trump retweeted that were originally shared by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of a far-right group in Britain called Britain First.

"It's a running joke [in the West Wing] that nuclear war could start from the private residence during Fox [News] primetime", one senior Trump aide told The Daily Beast.

It added: "We work hard to remain unbiased with the public interest in mind".

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