Twitter pretty much has everything. But with it becoming a powerful tool for notable and powerful figures, not everyone is liking it.
The social media giant has faced public pressure, and more specifically where people ask Twitter to define what kind of tweet that really violates its terms of service. Twitter’s rules prohibit violence, including threats and targeted abusive behavior in tweets. but somehow, world leaders came out clean.
Twitter explained why it won't block world leaders and officials, even if they break the site's rules.
"Twitter is here to serve and help advance the global, public conversation. Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society," wrote the company in an unsigned blog post.
"Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate.”
Removing their tweets "would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions."
Twitter didn’t define what it meant by 'world leaders'. But elsewhere in the statement, the company referred them as “elected” world leaders.
The company said that the newsworthiness of the tweet and the user, as well as whether it's in the public interest, are all taken into consideration when deciding whether to delete the post.
"We hold all accounts to the same rules, and consider a number of factors when assessing whether tweets violate our rules," the company tweeted. "Among the considerations is 'newsworthiness' and whether a tweet is of public interest.'"
"We review tweets by leaders within the political context that defines them, and enforce our rules accordingly," the company wrote. "No one person’s account drives Twitter’s growth, or influences these decisions. We work hard to remain unbiased with the public interest in mind."
Without mentioning U.S. President Donald Trump by name, The person that first sparked the outrage, was indeed him. One of his tweets that really ended many people's patience, was when he said the nuclear button on his desk is bigger than North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Since joining Twitter in March 2009, Trump has posted more than 35,000 tweets. And after a year becoming the U.S. president, Trump has tweeted thousands of tweets which criticized U.S.' allies and adversaries, the FBI and Justice Department, as well as NFL players protesting police treatment of African Americans by kneeling during the national anthem.
What's more, Trump's controversial Twitter tweets went beyond what he says. The president, who tweets using his personal account rather than the White House's official POTUS account, has also blocked people who disliked or criticized him.
"There's been such outcry over his Twitter handle and whether he violates their rules," said Jennifer Grygiel, a social media expert and professor at Syracuse University. "This is literally being addressed because of his tweets and the reaction he gets."
With these matters against Twitter, the company may have finally realized how the world sees the platform as a place for free speech. And in this case, the platform should at least open itself to a new scrutiny because it never really clarify how it defined a world leader.