Twitter clarified on Monday why it did not take down a tweet by President Donald Trump which threatened North Korea, saying that it was newsworthy.
Over the weekend, Trump tweeted that North Korea “won’t be around much longer.” It appeared to amount to a threat. The company’s policy says that users “may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.”
Trump’s tweet was taken as a declaration of war by North Korea. The rogue state’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said: “Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.”
The U.S. president is very vocal on Twitter and is often involved in controversies online. Many have wondered why Twitter has not clamped down on tweets that appear to violate the company’s policy.
Twitter explained the reasoning. It said that it holds all accounts to the same rules when assessing if tweets violate policy. One of the considerations is “newsworthiness” and if a tweet is of public interest. The company said that it has “long been internal policy” and that it will soon update its public-facing rules to reflect it.
The White House has since issued a statement denying that Trump’s tweet amounted to a declaration of war.