Twitter said Tuesday that nobody is exempt from their service’s rules on “hateful conduct” — not even President Donald Trump.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, along with legal and policy chief Vijaya Gadde, elaborated in an interview with Politico. While the company’s rules against prohibited content provides some protection for controversial posts by world leaders, it “is not a blanket exception for the president or anyone else,” said Gadde.
As part of their terms of service, Twitter prohibits hateful conduct, which they define as “violent threats; wishes for the physical harm, death, or disease of individuals or groups; references to mass murder, violent events, or specific means of violence in which/with which such groups have been the primary targets or victims; behavior that incites fear about a protected group; repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone.”
In January, Twitter released a blog post clarifying their stance on “world leaders” using the platform.
“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.”
President Trump has frequently drawn criticism from his detractors while receiving cheers from his supporters for sharing his unfiltered views in late-night messages posted to his @realDonaldTrump account. As reported in the Inquisitr in July, Trump took to Twitter to advise Iranian President Rouhani to “BE CAUTIOUS.”
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
The social media giant’s head said he receives alerts on his phone every time President Trump shares a new tweet. When asked if he would become personally involved in removing the president from Twitter, he only spoke in generalities. “My role is to ask questions and make sure we’re being impartial, and we’re upholding consistently our terms of service, including public interest.”
The statement about Trump’s tweets comes on the heels of a Wall Street Journal article that claimed that Dorsey overruled staff decisions to bar controversial pundit Alex Jones of Infowars from Twitter. Dorsey denies this accusation. “I ask questions. I don’t think I’ve ever overruled anything,” he said.
Dorsey is scheduled to testify Wednesday in front of two congressional committees about the company’s content practices.