Twitter Says Accounts of World Leaders Have Special Status

06 January, 2018, 03:36 | Author: Elena Meyer
  • Carlos Barria  Reuters
President Donald Trump in the Oval Office

Twitter will not block controversial tweets by world leaders, the company confirmed following calls to remove Donald Trump from the platform over his sabre-rattling comments about the size of his nuclear button.

Ultimately, Twitter said Friday, prohibiting world leaders from using its service would be ineffective, because it would "not silence" them but "would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions".

"Twitter is here to serve and help advance the global, public conversation".

US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday defended President Donald Trump's fiery tweets at North Korea, saying the commander-in-chief's clear messaging helped increase pressure on the regime over its nuclear weapons program. "Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation due to their outsized impact on our society", the California-based company said in a blog post.

In its blog post, Twitter reiterated its previous statement that all accounts still must follow the company's rules.

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Trump, who has exchanged a series of threats and insults with the Pyongyang regime since past year, tweeted late Tuesday that he, too, has a "nuclear button" that is "much bigger and more powerful" than the one North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has.

On Tuesday, the US president Tweeted about his "nuclear button," saying his is "a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"

At the sight of this very powerful man once again using Twitter to antagonize North Korea (and the world) with the threat of nuclear war, users berated Dorsey about the platform's rules, questioning why Trump's account wasn't being blocked for his behavior.

Friday's announcement comes less than a month after Twitter began enforcing new rules aimed at filtering out "hateful" and "abusive" content on the social network, including messages which promote or glorify violence. But even with Twitter's latest clarifications, questions remain about how it defines and reviews political figures.

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.

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