Twitter users including Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes are turning on the social network for allowing US President Donald Trump’s threatening tweets towards North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to remain on the social media platform.
Earlier this week Mr Trump sent a tweet asking someone in Kim Jong-un’s “depleted and food starved regime” to let him know he too had a “nuclear button, but it is much bigger and more powerful one than his”, and that hit button works.
The provocation caused Mr Cannon-Brookes to send a tweet to Twitter asking how “threatening to launch a nuclear weapon against millions of people isn’t ‘abusive behaviour'”, according to its guidelines.
The tech entrepreneur wasn’t the only one wondering.
- Mike Cannon-Brookes
- I’m confused as to how threatening to launch a nuclear weapon against millions of people isn’t “abusive behaviour” according to @twitter’s guidelines?
Many other Twitter users chimed in accusing the social media platform of having one set of rules for everyday users and another for Trump, with the chief technology officer of US-based data-driven legal contracts startup Clause HQ Dan Selman saying “rules are for little people” and Twitter user Edgar Chieng saying “Trump’s Twitter tyrant is what keeps Twitter’s lights on and pays its bills”.
The Australian Financial Review asked Twitter for comment, but it failed to reply prior to publication.
But in statement provided to The Guardian and The New York Times the social media website founded by Jack Dorsey said in a statement it had refused to remove the tweet because it was “newsworthy” and in the public interest.
“We hold all accounts to the same rules, and consider a number of factors when assessing whether Tweets violate our rules. Among the considerations is ‘newsworthiness’ and whether a tweet is of public interest,” the company said.
“This has long been internal policy and we’ll soon update our public-facing rules to reflect it. We need to do better on this, and will.”
Mr Trump’s unorthodox use of Twitter to showboat has sparked fears of an escalation in the tensions between the two nations.
It’s not the first time users have asked Twitter to remove a tweet from Mr Trump in reference to North Korea. A 40 character tirade about North Korea’s foreign minister in September in which the US President said “if he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer,” also caused users to lash out against the social media network’s alleged ignorance of its own terms and conditions.
Mr Trump is the most popular world leader on Twitter with 45.6 million followers, with Pope Francis (whose followers are spread over multiple accounts in different languages) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi coming second and third.
By design, Twitter was created to encourage off-the-cuff comments like those made by the Mr Trump and for the business to continue growing, the more users like Mr Trump the better.
The company’s stock has jumped about 40 per cent in the last three months to be valued at more than $US18 billion, but analysts say this is based on the assumption that it will be able to start generating more ad revenue in 2018.
In order to grow ad revenue, the more eyeballs on the website there are, the better, especially given the fierce competition for advertising dollars from Facebook and Google, which historically have performed better than Twitter.
The social network has never disclosed the decision making process around which accounts it chooses to ban, but in the past few months it has been tightening its policies around abusive language, according to company blog posts.
by Yolanda Redrup, FR
Read more: http://www.afr.com/technology/mike-cannonbrookes-calls-on-twitter-to-remove-trumps-north-korea-tweet-20180103-h0d73q#ixzz53Kn7LI5X
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This article was originally published by Financial Review
The 21st Century