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.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

3 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.

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