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Won’t Block World Leaders, Says Twitter Without Naming Trump

Twitter said that even if it did block a world leader, doing so would not silence the leader.

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Twitter Inc on Friday, 5 January, reiterated its stance that accounts belonging to world leaders have special status on the social media network, pushing back against users who have called on the company to block US President Donald Trump.

"Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate," Twitter said in a post on a corporate blog.

Twitter had already said in September 2017 that "newsworthiness" and whether a tweet is "of public interest" are among the factors it considers before removing an account or tweet.

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The debate over Trump's tweets started on Tuesday after he tweeted that he had a "much bigger" and "more powerful" nuclear button than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Critics said that the tweet and Trump’s continued presence on the network endanger the world and violate Twitter’s policy to ban threats of violence. 

Some users protested at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters on Wednesday, 3 January.

Twitter responded in its blog post: “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 that it does review tweets by world leaders and enforces its rules accordingly, leaving open the possibility that it could take down some material posted by them.

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.
Twitter, as reported by Reuters

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Twitter's statement.

Some Twitter users expressed support for the company's decision, while others complained of double standards.

"If I tweeted half of what Trump has since he entered office, I'd be permanently banned from this platform," a Twitter user wrote from the account @michaelranaii.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Social Media   Twitter   Kim Jong Un 

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