Twitter details rules for world leaders' tweets amid criticism

Twitter details rules for world leaders' tweets amid criticism

Twitter is detailing its policies for world leaders as Democrats press the social media giant to take a tougher stance on President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE’s tweets.

In a statement Tuesday, Twitter said that tweets from leaders “are not above our policies entirely.”

"When it comes to the actions of world leaders on Twitter, we recognize that this is largely new ground and unprecedented. We understand the desire for our decisions to be 'yes/no' binaries, but it’s not that simple," the company said. "The actions we take and policies we develop will set precedent around online speech and we owe it to the people we serve to be deliberate and considered in what we do."

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Twitter went on to lay out a series of actions that would trigger “enforcement action for any account,” including promoting terrorism, clear and direct threats of violence against an individual, posting private information, sharing intimate photos or videos of a person without their consent, material involving child sexual exploitation and any message encourage or promoting self-harm.

The tech company noted it assesses tweets from world leaders against its rules and focuses on the language of tweets rather than potential interpretations or intent of the content.

“Presently, 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 Twitter Rules,” Twitter clarified. 

The company went on to note that if a tweet from a world leader violates a rule but it is determined there is a “clear public interest value” to keeping the message up, Twitter may place the message behind a notice that informs readers of the violation and allows them to click through if they wish to read the content. 

Twitter appeared to reference the upcoming 2020 race and noted that its policies remain under advisement because of “constantly evolving challenges.”

“With critical elections and shifting political dynamics around the world, we recognize that we’re operating in an increasingly complex and polarized political culture. 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,” the company said. 

Twitter has faced fierce backlash from Democrats who say Trump’s tweets attacking journalists and political opponents are harmful and should be censured. White House hopeful Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary MORE (D-Calif.) has called on Twitter to take down Trump’s account completely, using last night’s debate to urge her fellow presidential contenders to join her.

Harris criticized Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE (D-Mass.) at the debate for declining to join her calls for Twitter to ban Trump.

"I don't want to push Donald Trump off Twitter," Warren responded. "I want to push him out of the White House."