Twitter explains why it hasn't suspended Trump's account

Article Image

Twitter will continue to take a forgiving approach to objectionable tweets by world leaders, arguing that their messages are often of public interest....

Posted: Oct 16, 2019 6:31 AM
Updated: Oct 16, 2019 7:15 AM

Twitter will continue to take a forgiving approach to objectionable tweets by world leaders, arguing that their messages are often of public interest.

The social media platform sought to clarify its rules for politicians Tuesday after coming under pressure from Senator Kamala Harris, a Democratic presidential candidate, to suspend President Donald Trump's account.

'We want to make it clear today that the accounts of world leaders are not above our policies entirely,' Twitter said in a blog post, adding that part of its mission is to allow people to 'engage their leaders directly.'

Twitter said it was sticking to a policy first laid out in June.

Under those rules, tweets by world leaders that violate the platform's policies will stay online if they have a 'clear public interest value.' In some cases, Twitter will place the tweet behind a note that provides context.

It said '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 rules.

Yet the company has drawn some red lines that apply even to world leaders. It will take action if tweets promote terrorism, include private information or intimate photos, engage in child sexual exploitation or promote self-harm.

Twitter will also act when direct threats of violence are made against an individual. However, it said that 'context matters' and that interactions between public figures would likely not qualify.

'We recognize that we're operating in an increasingly complex and polarized political culture,' the blog post said. 'These are constantly evolving challenges and we'll keep our policies and approach under advisement.'

The Trump tweets

Twitter has come under intense pressure from Democrats to crack down on Trump's tweets, and calls for action have grown louder in recent weeks after Trump used his account to attack key figures in the impeachment probe underway in the House of Representatives. The company has not yet labeled any of the president's tweets as violating its policies.

Harris has meanwhile sought to make Trump's Twitter account a campaign issue. The former attorney general of California said in a letter earlier this month to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that the president had broken the platform's rules by using his account to 'target' and 'harass' the whistleblower at the center of the Ukraine scandal.

She returned to the issue during Tuesday's CNN/New York Times Democratic Presidential Debate, calling for a suspension of Trump's account and saying it had been used to 'openly intimidate and threaten witnesses.'

In her letter to Dorsey, Harris singled out a series of messages Trump posted in late September relating to the whistleblower who sparked the investigation into the White House's activities in Ukraine.

'Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called 'Whistleblower,' represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way,' Trump tweeted on September 29.

In a related tweet, Trump suggested the whistleblower was a spy.

When Trump used racist language to attack four Democratic congresswomen in July, a Twitter spokesperson told CNN Business the posts did not break the company's rules despite their prohibition on 'targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category.'

-- Donie O'Sullivan contributed to this report.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4243

Reported Deaths: 153
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah116559
Marion96025
Washington73917
Clackamas31211
Deschutes1250
Umatilla1163
Linn1159
Polk9812
Lane733
Yamhill707
Jackson660
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath440
Jefferson330
Malheur320
Coos310
Douglas270
Wasco241
Josephine231
Hood River180
Columbia160
Lincoln120
Morrow110
Curry70
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111951

Reported Deaths: 4172
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles550012362
Riverside7486323
San Diego7481269
Orange6261147
San Bernardino5246204
Alameda339096
Santa Clara2776141
San Francisco258842
Kern225038
San Mateo210484
Tulare184484
Fresno174335
Santa Barbara164912
Imperial163427
Contra Costa145037
Sacramento140056
Ventura107833
San Joaquin85834
Kings7464
Stanislaus74429
Sonoma5534
Monterey53010
Solano51722
Marin48314
Merced2837
San Luis Obispo2691
Placer2159
Santa Cruz2132
Yolo21124
Napa1123
Madera1062
Humboldt1013
El Dorado900
San Benito872
Sutter462
Del Norte450
Butte440
Nevada411
Shasta394
Mono371
Mendocino300
Yuba301
Lake210
Inyo201
Amador190
Mariposa161
Glenn160
Calaveras150
Siskiyou70
Colusa50
Lassen50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 64°
Brookings
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 56°
Crater Lake
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 58°
Grants Pass
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 61°
Klamath Falls
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 58°
Isolated showers and storms Monday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events