Twitter released a statement Friday explaining why the company won’t block world leaders from its platform.
The calls for Twitter to block Trump, which have been going on since the 2016 election, resurfaced on Tuesday after the president boasted his “nuclear button” was “much bigger” than the one Kim Jong Un said was on his desk.
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
Some Twitter users argued that Trump’s tweets incite violence.
Twitter’s policy states that “specific threats of violence or wishing for serious physical harm, death, or disease to an individual or group of people” constitute violations, but they have no plans on banning Trump.
“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate. It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions,” the company said in a blog post Friday.
Twitter also stated they view tweets by world leaders “within the political context that defines them” and then “[enforces] our rules accordingly.”
The activist group Color of Change launched a petition, calling for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to kick Trump off the platform.
“Please kick Donald Trump off Twitter. Now, he’s using the social media platform to threaten nuclear war. Donald Trump has launched an assault on the very communities that drives Twitter to flourish,” the petition read.
“His abusive behavior has violated your user agreement multiple times while rising to power by promoting hateful conduct towards Black people by providing succor to white nationalists after Charlottesville, he has promoted violent threats against protesters, he’s called for the mass harassment of Latinx folks, and Muslims.”
Twitter also seemed to address opinions that they’ve chosen not to remove Trump because his presence on the platform helps the company’s growth through advertising and capturing the attention of users.
“No one person’s account drives Twitter’s growth, or influences these decisions. We work hard to remain unbiased with the public interest in mind,” it added. “We are working to make Twitter the best place to see and freely discuss everything that matters. We believe that’s the best way to help our society make progress.”