Twitter explains why Trump's North Korea tweet wasn't removed

Lloyd Doyle
September 27, 2017

Twitter is citing "newsworthiness" and the public interest as reasons why it didn't remove United States (US) President Donald Trump's declaration in a tweet that North Korean leaders may not "be around much longer".

The statement was in response to online criticism over a message the president sent on September 23, which North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho deemed as a "declaration of war". North Korea claimed it would begin taking self-defensive countermeasures, including shooting down USA military planes, even if they aren't flying over the country.

But while Twitter's terms of services forbid using the platform to make violent threats, either directly or indirectly (nuclear war counts, right?), it has chose to refrain from deleting Trump's tweets in the name of "public interest" and their "newsworthy" nature. "The question of who won't be around much longer will be answered then".

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. The team insisted that it holds "all accounts to the same rules", but pointed out the factors it takes into account when assessing violations.

"Among the considerations is "newsworthiness" and whether a tweet is of public interest", the policy team wrote.


In a followup tweet, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said the company was committed to "increasing our transparency". "We need to do better on this, and will", Twitter said in its response.

In a thread, Twitter said that while the policy does state that it will remove threats, there are exceptions to the rule and the "public-facing" policy will be updated to reflect them.

Twitter user Mark Fletcher asked exactly that in a reply to Dorsey's tweet.

Twitter has been subject to continued criticism over how it handles tweets from the president that some consider offensive.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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