Under pressure to delete President Donald Trump’s account, Twitter has clarified why his “Nuclear Button” tweet against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un does not violate its standards against threatening violence.
Twitter released a statement Friday after a number of Twitter users said the January 2 tweet threatening nuclear war violated Twitter's revised Terms of Service, launching a campaign to stomp out violent threats on their platform, often by shutting down offending accounts.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
“There’s been a lot of discussion about political figures and world leaders on Twitter, and we want to share our stance,” Twitter stated, adding that it “is here to serve and help advance the global, public conversation. Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society.”
Twitter said shutting down Trump's account after the controversial post “would hide important information people should be able to see and debate.” Further, Twitter stated that a decision to shut down an account controlled by a country’s leader “would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”
During a speech that Kim Jong-un gave on New Year’s Day, he warned the US that North Korea's nuclear forces have been “completed,” and his launch button was always in reach. The next day, Trump tweeted in response.
Some on Twitter have pointed out what they see as an alleged double-standard being perpetrated.
BREAKING: Twitter Concedes (More or Less) That Trump Is Routinely Violating Its Terms of Service and It Will Do Nothing, Claiming a Different Standard for World Leaders https://t.co/ze9mCuiwdA
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) January 5, 2018
The Twitter brought forth a new standard,
and to Donald Trump, they have pandered.
for World Leaders, not us,
let dangerous words go unhampered.
TOS = Terms of Service.
— jd (@jess2011a) January 5, 2018
Twitter agrees Trump is violating the terms of service.
People all over the world agree Trump is violating Twitter terms of service.
Put his ass in Jail for 24 hours.
No action is the wrong move.
That's what I have a problem with.
— Amene (@Ange_Amene) January 5, 2018
Trump's tweet about the US’ nuclear arsenal has now received over 485,000 'Likes' and more than 190,000 retweets.