Jan 3, 2018 - Technology

Twitter faces heat over Trump's latest North Korea tweet

Twitter faced renewed criticism Tuesday after President Trump took to the service to taunt North Korea's Kim Jong-un over the size of his, um, nuclear button. Among other things, this tweet sparked a debate on the social media platform's policy and why this (and other Trump tweets) should be deemed allowable under Twitter's revised rules regarding inciting violence.

Yes, but: As former HUD public affairs director Brandon Friedman notes, Twitter included an exception in its latest rules on violence and physical harm that exempts governments and militaries. It's also not clear that this latest tweet represented a direct threat of violence even if it needlessly raises the risk of nuclear war. And then there's always Twitter's fallback defense of allowing otherwise impermissible tweets on the basis of "newsworthiness," though Twitter isn't relying on that one in this case.

Other takes: Twitter's former head of news and government Adam Sharp argues that Trump's messages to North Korea are bad policy, but shouldn't be banned. Meanwhile, a group of protesters are planning to demonstrate Wednesday outside Twitter's HQ demanding that either Trump or Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey goes.

My thought bubble: This issue isn't going away for Twitter. This actually isn't as hard a case as other types of Trump tweets, particularly those in which he lashes out at groups of Americans. The big question for Twitter is what wouldn't they let the president say.

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