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Twitter Says Trump Is Too Important to Kick Off the Platform

Regardless of threats to destroy an entire country.

by Alex Lubben
08 January 2018, 3:46am

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This article originally appeared on VICE News.

It looks like Twitter will keep its most famous user on the platform — no matter how many terms of service he violates in his tweets to Kim Jong Un.

On Tuesday, President Trump took to Twitter to brag about the size of his “Nuclear Button,” which he claimed is “much bigger & more powerful” than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s.

The tweet was arguably a violation of Twitter’s terms of service, but the social network will not wade into the issue — instead, Twitter put out a press release on Friday, justifying the continued presence of world leaders on the social media platform.

“Twitter is here to serve and help advance the global, public conversation,” the statement reads. “Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society.”

Removing leaders from the platform, the company argues, wouldn’t silence the leaders but would “certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”

Trump enjoys a sizeable audience on Twitter, boasting some 46 million followers on his personal account. And his tweets regularly attract tens of thousands of retweets — not to mention media attention.

Twitter did emphasize that “no one person's account drives Twitter’s growth, or influences these decisions,” which is born out by the stats: Twitter’s monthly active user base has plateaued in the last few years, and did not seen a significant bump in the year since Trump was elected.

It’s not the first time that Twitter has had to publicly justify not kicking out Trump. At a New York Times DealBook conference on Nov. 9, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said, as quoted by Forbes, “If an account were to publicly attack or harass a private citizen, we would take action. We do have a clause in our terms of service that we unfortunately did not have publicly stated…around newsworthiness and public interest.”

“This is a subjective evaluation by us,” he added. “And we work very hard to make sure we are listening to voices, specifically the journalists on our platform to determine newsworthiness

In fairness to Twitter, nowhere in its rules does it explicitly say you aren’t allowed to provoke a small, reclusive country prove that it does have a working “nuclear button” and launch the world into war.