Twitter faces pressure from users to remove President Donald Trump from its platform. However, the social media giant has claimed that world leaders are not above its rules. Twitter has also upheld its decision to keep some tweets that infringe its policies.
The tech giant’s update, which was posted in a blog, is not likely to silence those who are calling for it to monitor and to supervise Trump’s social media use. Trump’s presence on social media has been an essential part of his political strategy.
A couple of weeks ago, the Democratic presidential candidate and senator from California, Kamala Harris, has called on Twitter to suspend Trump’s account. The senator claims that Trump’s presence on social media puts people at risk and democracy in danger.
Last Tuesday, Senator Harris has once again accosted Twitter, saying that the president has used the platform to intimidate the witnesses involved in the current impeachment investigation openly. The senator calls for the removal of Trump’s Twitter account as it is a matter of safety and corporate accountability.
At the end of June 2019, Twitter announced that it would start labeling tweets from world leaders that violate the platform’s policies. This included comments that were made to prevent harm and abuse.
According to Twitter, the rules were made to ensure that there’s a balance between the platform’s efforts — to make sure that tweets promoting misinformation, hate speech, and other distressing content don’t go viral and the public’s right to know.
Despite its policy, Twitter faced criticism after it failed to label several of Trump’s tweets that were deemed to be inappropriate by both digital watchdogs and Democrats.
One example of this was a tweet Trump made in July regarding four congressmen of color. The tweet was seen as a form of bigotry that violated Twitter’s rules.
Twitter has attempted to clarify its rules last Tuesday. The platform said it would take the necessary steps to enforce actions on any account involved in dire circumstances — including any threats made by world leaders to a user.
The company has yet to implement its labeling policy. For tweets labeled as violations, Twitter will ensure that the material will not proliferate. As an example, users are blocked from retweeting or liking such forms of content.
“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,” said Twitter.
Despite its most recent update, the critics’ satisfaction remained bland. As a response to the updated policy, Ian Sams, a Harris campaign spokesman, said: “When Trump is using his tweets to make threats, incite violence and intimidate witnesses, [Twitter update] is insufficient.”