If you ever find yourself daydreaming that Twitter will finally enforce their rules and spray a little cold water on the raging dumpster fire that is Donald Trump’s Twitter account, given Trump’s addiction to using Twitter to belittle his critics, post racist videos, harangue the press, and have a button-measuring contest with an similarly unstable autocrat while threatening another country with nuclear annihilation, don’t hold your breath while waiting for the ban hammer to drop. A statement posted by the company to Twitter’s blog today implied that as long as a person is a “world leader,” pretty much anything he or she wants to say on the social media site is A-OK, even if it violates the rules set forth for everyone else. Trump, according to Twitter, plays “a critical role” in advancing “the global, public conversation.”
Twitter’s stated rules threaten to limit the account of or ban any Twitter user who uses language that “crosses the line” into abuse, harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence or physical harm against an individual or group. Twitter’s rules on hateful conduct say a user “may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
World Leaders on Twitter
There’s been a lot of discussion about political figures and world leaders on Twitter, and we want to share our stance.
Twitter is here to serve and help advance the global, public conversation. Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society.
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.
We review Tweets by leaders within the political context that defines them, and enforce our rules accordingly. 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.
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.