Twitter says Trump’s North Korea tweet doesn’t violate terms of service


Twitter said on Wednesday that President Trump did not violate the platform’s policies against violent threats when he raised the possibility of nuclear war with North Korea in a tweet late Tuesday.

Trump in a post directed at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wrote, “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

A spokeswoman for Twitter told The Hill that the tweet did not violate its terms of service.

Many of the president’s critics had complained that the social media company was failing to uphold its policies against making “specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people.”

On Tuesday night, protesters in San Francisco accused Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey of being “complicit” and calling on the company to suspend Trump’s account.

“Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, has enabled @realDonaldTrump from his first dog whistles in the birther movement to his latest nuclear pissing contest,” the group Resist SF wrote on Facebook. “Twitter is endangering the world and breaking its own terms of service to do it. Trump or Jack must go.”

{mosads}But Twitter’s rules page outlines some caveats to its policy.

“Please note that wishing or hoping that someone experiences serious physical harm, making vague threats, or threatening less serious forms of physical harm would not fall under this specific policy,” the page reads.

Twitter also often exempts governments from its content policies.

On its rules page, the company says it forbids glorifying violence, but makes exceptions for acts of war and “state-sanctioned executions.”

And when it began its crackdown last month on groups “that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes,” Twitter said that the new policy would not apply to government entities.

Trump’s tweet was apparently sparked by the North Korean leader’s use of the phrase “nuclear button” in his New Year’s Day address.

“The entire mainland of the US is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office,” Kim said. “They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality.”

Kim during the address also called for talks with South Korea and proposed sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics.

Trump’s tweet sparked a backlash, with lawmakers, national security experts and media figures voicing deep concern over it.

–This report was updated at 11:26 a.m. 

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