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‘Newsworthiness’ Comes First: Why Twitter Allows Trump’s Belligerent Messages

‘Newsworthiness’ Comes First: Why Twitter Allows Trump’s Belligerent Messages

‘Newsworthiness’ Comes First: Why Twitter Allows Trump’s Belligerent Messages
September 27
18:38 2017

It turns out that you can circumvent Twitter’s rules, which ban “promoting violence”, at least if you’re US President Donald Trump and the target is North Korea.

Angry Twitter users have bombarded the messenger network with questions why it has not removed the tweet of US President Donald Trump which had apparently reignited the saber-rattling between Washington and Pyongyang. The company explained why it is still in place.

The platform posted a series of messages explaining its position and citing “newsworthiness” as one of the factors it considered in determining if a tweet may break its rules.

​On Saturday, the US President tweeted to North Korea that its leader, whom he called a “Little Rocket Man”, and its Foreign Minister “won’t be around much longer.” The comment came in response to North Korea’s top diplomat’s speech at the UN and incited the wrath of Pyongyang, which regarded it as a “declaration of war” and threatened military countermeasures.

​Twitter users subsequently wondered why the tweet remained there; it clearly violates the platform’s rule that users “may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.”

​Among other micro-blogging messenger’s evasive explanations was the “public interest” of the post, which led the users to conclude that if one is the US President, it is totally OK to declare that you’re going to attack an entire country or assassinate its leader.

​The users sarcastically wondered if censorship would come before or after the launch of a nuclear weapon, just so that they could be clear on “what the threshold is.”

​”I’d like to know too because I probably won’t be around for long after the launch if he decides he doesn’t like Seattle,” replied another one.

Another Twitter notification that it “holds all accounts to the same Rules” also caused public anger, with many replying that the company does not ban a user who repeatedly violates its policies and posts abusive content.

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Edward Bokhua

Edward Bokhua

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