Protesters call on Twitter to ban Trump

Carlos Barria  Reuters
President Donald Trump in the Oval Office

Ultimately, Twitter said Friday, prohibiting world leaders from using its service would be ineffective, because it would "not silence" them but "would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions".

Some even argue that Trump's Twitter threats are an exercise in nuclear deterrence and can be categorized more as bizarrely articulated military policy than the kind of tweet that might violate Twitter's rules banning "specific threats of violence".

Twitter disagrees that this statement is a "specific threat of violence". "Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation due to their outsized impact on our society", the California-based company said in a blog post. "Twitter is endangering the world and breaking its own terms of service to do it. Trump or Jack must go".

Aides to the president generally didn't bat an eye at his latest, most provocative, salvo against North Korea's brutal dictator Kim Jong-Un.

"Some activists said Twitter should have banned Trump and one group projected images on the company's headquarters with a message "@jack is #complicit", a reference to chief executive Jack Dorsey and "Ban @realDonaldTrump".

Trump, who has exchanged a series of threats and insults with the Pyongyang regime since a year ago, tweeted late Tuesday that he, too, has a "nuclear button" that is "much bigger and more powerful" than the one North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has.

More news: Warning after a number of 'Aussie flu' deaths

Twitter's attempt to handle political speech on its site - and defining when and how that overlaps with violent speech - has been a long and often confusing process.

Trump's Twitter account was deactivated for 11 minutes by an employee leaving the company in November, leading the tech giant to say it was taking steps to assure it did not happen again.

It's also not clear if there is an instance in which Twitter would remove a world leader's messages or account.

The company said that it does review tweets by world leaders and enforces its rules accordingly, leaving open the possibility that it could take down some material posted by them. "We work hard to remain unbiased with the public interest in mind", it added.

Twitter declined to elaborate on its blog post.

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