Twitter clarifies stance on blocking 'world leaders' as critics call for Trump's suspension

Critics of the president raised alarm at tweets threatening North Korea Tuesday.

ByABC News
January 5, 2018, 5:03 PM

— -- Social media giant Twitter published an explanation of its policies about the content posted by "world leaders" Friday, as a growing chorus of President Donald Trump's critics has urged the company to suspend the leader.

In a blog post titled "World Leaders on Twitter," the company wrote that updates from the accounts of persons who have an "outsized impact on our society" are reviewed "within the political context that defines them."

"Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate," the post reads. "It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions."

While the explanation from Twitter made no reference to Trump or any other particular leader, it came three days after the president posted a message addressing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, referencing the United States' and North Korea's respective nuclear arsenals.

"North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times,'" wrote Trump. "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!"

Critics of the president were quick to note that the tweet could have been in violation of Twitter's rules and policies, which prohibit threats of violence, targeted harassment and the promotion of hateful conduct, among other restrictions.

Similar claims have been made over the course of Trump's political career as he used his account to identify individual journalists, politicians and other figures with whom he took issue. Twitter claims the right to enforce its rules by requiring the deletion of offensive content and temporarily or permanently suspending accounts.

"All individuals accessing or using Twitter’s services must adhere to the policies set forth in the Twitter Rules," the company states on its rules page.

In Friday's post, the company noted that "no one person's account drives Twitter’s growth, or influences [its] decisions."

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