Twitter won’t bar Donald Trump from tweeting because of ‘newsworthiness’

donald trump twitter gage skidmore

According to Twitter’s Public Policy account, the social network will not be removing US President Donald Trump’s threatening tweets towards North Korea.

In a thread published late last night, Twitter revealed that part of the reason is due to Trump’s “newsworthiness.”

The argument centres on a particular tweet by Donald Trump published on 24 September.

“Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!” tweeted Trump.

While this was noted as a declaration of war by the North Korean foreign minister, Twitter didn’t deem the tweet to breach its terms of use.

“Among the considerations is ‘newsworthiness’ and whether a Tweet is of public interest,” Twitter’s thread continues.

“This has long been internal policy and we’ll soon update our public-facing rules to reflect it. We need to do better on this, and will.

“Twitter is committed to transparency and keeping people informed about what’s happening in the world. We’ll continue to be guided by these fundamental principles,” the thread concluded.

Donald Trump: ‘Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!’

Notably, the social network’s words weren’t met with praise from Twitter’s community.

Some users labeled the decision as “inconsistent and biased”.

Others dug up Twitter’s rulebook, citing what it deems abusive behaviour.

But one user mentioned the elephant in the room: Donald Trump is something of a tourist attraction for Twitter.

This theory does hold water. The social network is under mounting pressure to grow its beleaguered user base and Trump is a surprise solution.

According to an article published on Fortune in February 2017, the US President is actually saving Twitter.

“It is undeniable that Twitter has been thrust into the global zeitgeist following the U.S. Presidential Election in November 2016,” wrote analyst Richard Greenfield in the piece.

“Trump is giving consumers a reason to learn how to use Twitter, furthering the reason for public figures etc. to put content on the platform. Twitter is in effect getting a second chance to attract and retain users.”

While Instagram currently entertains 700-million users per month, and WhatsApp over a billion, Twitter is home to just 328-million, as growth continues to flatline.

Feature image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, resized)

Andy Walker
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