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Could Twitter ban Trump for violating its terms of service? Company forced to explain why it hasn’t

Donald Trump
(Flickr / Gage Skidmore)

President Trump had a busy weekend on Twitter, as usual. No real surprise there, but the language in at least one of his tweets generated enough user backlash to force the company to respond publicly on Monday about how its terms of service are applied.

When he wasn’t mad at NFL players for taking a knee during National Anthem protests, the president was busy escalating the rhetoric with North Korea and that country’s leader Kim Jung-un. Saturday night he essentially threatened to bomb the country out of existence.

The threat of nuclear war apparently was enough to spur some folks into reporting the tweet as abusive or harmful — a process which takes less than a minute via a series of questions provided by Twitter.

Twitter
Click to enlarge: Screen grabs of what it looks like to report a tweet to Twitter. (Twitter Images)

On Monday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey — whose name will often receive a @jack mention when someone really wants to call attention to a hateful tweet — retweeted a six-tweet thread from the company’s @Policy feed — which serves as the voice of Twitter’s global public policy team, according to its bio.

The first @Policy tweet contained a link to an NPR story which contained the Trump tweet and described how, in the eyes of North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, Trump’s remarks amounted to a declaration of war. The @Policy folks said, “Some of you have been asking why we haven’t taken down the Tweet mentioned here.”

So in the end, at least according to the reading of those tweets, Twitter isn’t prepared to do anything about what that the president is tweeting — at North Korea, NFL players, Hillary Clinton, CNN or anyone else.

The company defends his actions as “newsworthy” and of “public interest.” Users responding on Twitter were not happy with what appeared to be inconsistencies when it comes to upholding its own TOS.

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