The US President has posted threats of violence and insults – such as those against North Korea most recently – on Twitter. Although such messages violate Twitter policies, the short messaging service is letting the tweet and the account stay on the network.
Donald Trump and his furious outbursts on Twitter are an endless topic. The US president recently called on fans to boycott the NFL – and in return was met with considerable criticism from fans, players and club owners.
A few days earlier, Trump had dropped a highly explosive tweet. In it, he threatened North Korea and its dictator Kim Jong-un with the extermination of the country.
Donald Trump violates policy – and nothing happens
In particular, the last part of the tweet – “will no longer exist” – is clearly to be understood as a threat. This is a clear violation of the Twitter code of conduct by Donald Trump.
It literally says:”You are prohibited from making violent threats or incitements to violence against others, including threats or incitements to terrorism.”
Anyone who violates these rules is actually banned temporarily or permanently. Nevertheless, both the tweet and the president’s account are still online.
Since the emerging criticism did not fade away, Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, tried to explain himself in a contribution on Medium.
He explained first of all that all accounts are treated in the same way. When a tweet is reported, various factors are checked. These decide whether the message is actually removed from the network.
Two of these categories are the “news value” and the “public interest” in a tweet. Both have been part of the guidelines internally for a long time and will be better communicated to the public in the future.
Whether Donald Trump has violated these guidelines remains to be seen. However, it is clear that the US president’s statements on Twitter are obviously always worthy of news and thus remain on the platform.
Twitter thus legitimizes any of Trump’s failures and at the same time voluntarily becomes the president’s instrument.