After countless tweets sent out by Donald Trump over the past several months — many causing a stir in one way or another — Twitter has released its first public explanation as to why it has not banned him from use.
The statement comes after several users have repeatedly called on the social media platform’s CEO Jack Dorsey to remove the 71-year-old from the site, with activist group Color of Change even launching a petition, citing the escalating feud with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and saying his tweets violate Twitter’s terms of service, which prohibits inciting violence.
The petition reads as follows: “Please kick Donald Trump off Twitter. Now, he’s using the social media platform to threaten nuclear war. Donald Trump has launched an assault on the very communities that drives Twitter to flourish. His abusive behavior has violated your user agreement multiple times while rising to power by promoting hateful conduct towards Black people by providing succor to white nationalists after Charlottesville, he has promoted violent threats against protesters, he’s called for the mass harassment of Latinx folks, and Muslims. Trump has used Twitter to destroy the very discourse and community your company has aided in fostering.”
In the platform’s reply, it didn’t call out the president by name, but did make a conscience choice of words when addressing the situation. “Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” Twitter said in a blog post. “It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”
Twitter notes its role as a platform for global, public conversation in which elected officials play a crucial part. It also shot down any rumors of benefiting financially from Trump’s increased use. “No one person’s account drives Twitter’s growth, or influences these decisions,” it wrote. “We work hard to remain unbiased with the public interest in mind.”