Twitter has defended its decision to allow US President Donald Trump’s controversial tweets to remain on the service, saying that blocking a world leader or removing their tweets “would hide important information people should be able to see and debate”.
Selectively excluding certain tweets from such figures “would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions”, Twitter said in a blog post on Friday.
Earlier this week, Trump tweeted threats of nuclear action in response to North Korea’s taunts, leading to calls for Twitter to ban Trump, claiming that he violates the social media platform’s own terms of service regarding inciting abuse or promoting violence.
The exchange prompted a protest group in San Francisco, called Resistance SF, to gather outside of Twitter’s headquarters, calling on CEO Jack Dorsey to step down or remove Trump from Twitter.
Earlier last week, Brian Fallon, a political commentator and former spokesman for Hillary Clinton, tweeted to Dorsey: “Hey @Jack. It’s time to kick Trump off this website.”
Trump’s tweets that have insulted women and his retweet of an anti-Muslim post have caused repeated uproars among its users.
The company has maintained that Trump’s tweets are newsworthy.
In Friday’s blog post, Twitter said it reviews tweets by leaders within the “political context that defines them, and enforce our rules accordingly.”
Twitter has also emphasised its use as a place to see what’s happening and that it’s easier for the social media company to deliver on its mission if influential people like Trump start discussions there. Last year, Twitter executive chairman Omid Kordestani said that “it’s good to have him talk on Twitter”. — Reported by Selina Wang, (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP