Twitter just explained why it won't block Trump for tweets that North Korea considers a declaration of war

Donald Trump’s tweets have long raised questions about whether they violate Twitter’s rules prohibiting abusive behaviour on the service. 

On Monday, after a Trump tweet threatened that North Korea might not “be around much longer,” Twitter was forced to explain why the President was not banned from the service. 

In a six-part tweet from Twitter’s public policy account, the company argued that Trump’s speech was newsworthy and of “public interest,” but said that it was planning to update its policy soon.

Trump’s tweet came at time of heightened international tensions, as North Korea threatens to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean. North Korea said on Monday that Trump’s tweet was a declaration of war

President Trump’s tweets have long posed a challenge for Twitter’s terms of use. Throughout the 2016 presidential election and his presidency, Trump has used the platform to call out individuals and corporations that he opposes, and to introduce new items of public policy. 

Under its existing policy, Twitter reserves the right to remove content and disable accounts that post violent threats or harassment.

The company has left up Trump’s tweet about North Korea because of its “newsworthiness” and “public interest value” — two factors which are taken into account for all content considered otherwise in violation of the company’s content policy. 

In response to criticism about its inconsistency, Twitter said that it would update its public-facing policy to better reflect what has long been an internal policy. 

 

 

On Saturday, President Trump sent out a tweet, which had many concerned could lead to heightened international discord with North Korea. In the tweet, he wrote that if North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho echoes similar nuclear ambitions as North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, then “they won’t be around much longer!”

On Monday, Yong Ho told reporters that North Korea considers Trump’s tweet to be a declaration of war, and that his country can thus legally shoot down US military planes, according to NPR

Read the full response from Twitter’s pubic policy group here: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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