Twitter said that President Donald Trump’s latest provocative tweetstoward the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un do not violate its terms of service.
The social-media platform was responding to complaints and inquiries on Tuesday night following Trump’s tweets in which he claimed he had a “nuclear button” that is “bigger and more powerful” than Kim Jong Un’s.
Trump was responding to claims the North Korean leader made on New Year’s Day, in which Kim said, “The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat.”
The president’s tweets caused some alarm and prompted some Twitter users to make a show of reporting the tweets directly to Twiter and its CEO, Jack Dorsey. A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday night that Trump’s North Korea tweets do not amount to a “specific threat,” and thus do not warrant disciplinary action.
The spokesperson pointed to Twitter’s policy on violent threats and glorification of violence: “You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people,” the rule states.
It is not the first time the question has been raised about whether Trump’s Twitter account should be – or can be – suspended. As noted by Business Insider’s Steve Kovach last month, Twitter’s new abuse policy seemingly exempts Trump from punishment on the platform.
The rule states: “This policy does not apply to military or government entities and we will consider exceptions for groups that are currently engaging in (or have engaged in) peaceful resolution.”