Twitter Admits It’s Giving Donald Trump Special Treatment After Facing Criticism

U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions while departing the White House on October 03, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Twitter admitted on Tuesday that it planned to continue to take a forgiving approach to Donald Trump’s messaging on its platform, despite backlash from critics who say that the president’s tweets violate its terms of service. According to Variety, the social media platform clarified its rules in regards to “world leaders,” which they argue need a special exception to the standard rules because their tweets are of the public interest.

Senator Kamala Harris has been a vocal critic of the president’s use of Twitter, which she argues violates their policies. She has called for the social media platform to ban Trump’s account after he has used the platform to make personal attacks. Harris repeated her criticism during the Democratic debate on Tuesday, asking her opponent Senator Elizabeth Warren why she hasn’t publicly stated that Trump should be removed from the platform.

“I would urge you to join me because here we have Donald Trump, who has 65 million Twitter followers and is using that platform as the president of the United States to openly intimidate witnesses, to threaten witnesses, to obstruct justice… Twitter should be held accountable and shut down [Trump’s account]. It is a matter of safety and corporate accountability.”

In response to Harris’ complaints, which included a letter to CEO Jack Dorsey earlier this month, Twitter responded that even if world leaders and other prominent individuals violate their rules, they hold them to a different standard for the benefit of the public, as The Inquisitr previously reported. To that end, certain posts are left up even if they violate their policies.

“[W]e recognize that we’re operating in an increasingly complex and polarized political culture,” Twitter’s statement read. “These are constantly evolving challenges and we’ll keep our policies and approach under advisement, particularly as we learn more about the relationship between Tweets from world leaders and the potential for offline harm.”

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That doesn’t mean that the president or other world leaders can post whatever they want. Any post, no matter who it comes from, that promotes terrorism, makes a specific and clear threat of violence, features child pornography, promotes self-harm, or reveals someone’s private information or images will all be removed – though they hedged that “context matters” when it comes to examining and removing posts.

Twitter recently pulled a doctored Nickelback video that was re-posted by Trump after the band complained and a separate post that used music from a Batman film.