After facing pressure from disgruntled users, Twitter has issued an explanation why it hasn’t suspended Donald Trump’s account despite the president’s apparent violation of user guidelines.
Trump’s controversial tweet from Saturday, which contained a thinly veiled threat against North Korea, was deemed “newsworthy” and of “public interest,” said the social media platform on Monday. So, despite the threat of violence implied in the tweet, Trump’s account would not be shut down.
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
Some Twitter users had pointed out that Trump’s North Korea tweet appeared to violate Twitter’s user guidelines, which stipulate that “violent threats (direct or indirect)” can be grounds for temporary or even permanent suspension.
North Korea’s foreign minister said on Monday that the country considered Trump’s tweet a “declaration of war.”
“Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country,” Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York. “The question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then.”
Twitter was pressed over the weekend on whether Trump’s tweet was a violation of rules, but the company initially kept mum, telling BuzzFeed that it “does not comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.”
Public pressure, however, appears to have persuaded Twitter to break its silence on the matter. In a series of tweets Monday, the company explained why it had not deleted Trump’s tweet or suspended his account.
“We hold all accounts to the same Rules, and consider a number of factors when assessing whether Tweets violate our Rules,” the company said. “Among the considerations is ‘newsworthiness’ and whether a Tweet is of public interest.”
“This has long been internal policy and we’ll soon update our public-facing rules to reflect it,” Twitter added. “We need to do better on this, and will.”
THREAD: Some of you have been asking why we haven't taken down the Tweet mentioned here: https://t.co/CecwG0qHmq 1/6
— Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017
In a followup tweet, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said the company was committed to “increasing our transparency.”
We’re putting significant effort into increasing our transparency as a company, and commit to meaningful and fast progress. Will do better. https://t.co/g1Rvkaj2sl
— jack (@jack) September 25, 2017
Many Twitter users, however, appeared unimpressed with Dorsey’s promises and the company’s explanation.
Some noted that Trump would likely never be penalized by Twitter based on the company’s current stand, since, as president, anything he says could be considered “newsworthy.”
So, the tweet could be a threat from Trump, but because he's POTUS, it remains? Sounds inconsistent and biased.
— Mike Rana ️ (@michaelranaii) September 25, 2017
@policy that is a truly rubbish explanation! Please explain why even when tweet threatens destruction of whole country it’s fine.
— Debs Armstrong (@DebsArmstrong) September 25, 2017
— Rio Reilly (@rioreilly) September 26, 2017
He's using their private platform & violating their terms of service. They have every right to penalize him. He isn't a dictator.
— #TakeAKnee (@williamlegate) September 25, 2017
So because he's president and therefore everything he says is theoretically newsworthy, there's nothing he can say that will get him banned?
— Mark Fletcher (@wingedpig) September 26, 2017
You need to do VASTLY better and quicker
— Demand Diversity (@LoveStats) September 25, 2017
Do better? Do better than allowing international threats? Thats a relief.
Start with his tweet threatening 24 million people w/ annihilation
— The Doctor (@Drstevenhobbs) September 25, 2017
If you did LITERALLY ANYTHING, it would be more than you're doing right now. #validcriticism
— Mike Taber (@SingleFounder) September 25, 2017
If the world operated by your rules during the Cuban missile crisis we'd all be dead. Do better. Lock Trump out for making death threats.
— Maestro (@janemaestro) September 25, 2017
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.