Twitter clarified its rules for world leaders following recent calls for the company to punt President Trump from its platform.
Without mentioning any leaders by name, Twitter explained in a blog post Tuesday how heads of state can break the social network’s rules and not be suspended or banned.
The company said only violations of certain Twitter rules would cause it to consider removing a leader’s tweet or account: promotion of terrorism, clear and direct threats of violence, posting private information, sharing intimate media without the consent of the person shown, engaging in child sexual exploitation, or encouraging or promoting self-harm.
“In other cases involving a world leader, we will err on the side of leaving the content up if there is a clear public interest in doing so,” Twitter said.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly faced scrutiny from his critics over his conduct on Twitter, and several prominent Democratic lawmakers have recently asked the company to intervene.
“Presently, direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day or foreign policy saber-rattling on economic or military issues are generally not in violation of the Twitter Rules,” the company said in the blog post.
“However, if a Tweet from a world leader does violate the Twitter Rules but there is a clear public interest value to keeping the Tweet on the service, we may place it behind a notice that provides context about the violation and allows people to click through should they wish to see the content,” the post said.
Twitter announced in June that it would add a notice to tweets from leaders that violate its rules but are in the public interest by letting those posts remain on the platform.
“We haven’t used this notice yet, but when we do, you will not be able to like, reply, share, or Retweet the Tweet in question,” Twitter said Tuesday.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota Democrat, called for Twitter to suspend Mr. Trump last month after he shared a video that falsely claimed to show her partying during the recent anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attack.
Sen. Kamala Harris similarly began pressing Twitter to take action after Mr. Trump recently used his account to target the unknown whistleblower that prompted Democrats to launch an impeach inquiry against the president last month.
“Donald Trump has 65 million followers on Twitter and we have to take seriously the weaponization of this platform by the president and the need, therefore, of a private corporation to be held accountable to say he has abused the terms and it could result literally in a threat to safety of human beings who are participating in the process of justice,” Ms. Harris, California Democrat and 2020 presidential hopeful, said during Thursday’s fourth Democratic presidential candidate debate.
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