Taking US President Donald Trump’s side once again, Twitter has retracted its previous explanation for why it did not remove Trump’s tweets that included graphic anti-Muslim videos. Trump this week retweeted videos by far-right British politician Jayda Fraser that purported to show Muslims performing violent acts. Reacting to this, British Prime Minister Theresa May called Trump “wrong” for promoting such “hateful narratives”. Trump replied back, telling May that she should instead turn her attention to terrorism and that “we are doing just fine”. Later, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted: “We mistakenly pointed to the wrong reason (why) we didn’t take action on the videos from earlier this week. We’re still looking critically at all of our current policies, and appreciate all the feedback.” Now, a two-part tweet from the trust and safety team at the micro-blogging platform has said that the videos “are permitted on Twitter based on our current media policy”. “Earlier this week Tweets were sent that contained graphic and violent videos. We pointed people to our Help Centre to explain why they remained up, and this caused some confusion,” @TwitterSafety tweeted late on Friday. “To clarify: these videos are not being kept up because they are newsworthy or for public interest. Rather, these videos are permitted on Twitter based on our current media policy,” it added.
In September, the micro-blogging platform did not remove Trump’s controversial tweet on North Korea that clearly violated its guidelines. Trump tweeted: “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at UN. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!” People wondered why Twitter did not remove the tweet that violated the company’s rules. Reacting to this, Biz Stone, Co-founder of Twitter, posted: “Some of you have been asking why we haven’t taken down the Tweet mentioned here. Among the considerations is its ‘newsworthiness’ and whether a Tweet is of public interest.” Twitter has never acknowledged publicly that Trump has violated any of its guidelines.
Dorsey has also defended Trump’s tweets. Earlier this month, a Twitter employee brought down Trump’s Twitter account for 11 minutes on his last day in office. Twitterati praised the Twitter employee who deactivated Trump’s account. There have been ongoing calls for Twitter to ban Trump over tweets that critics said could be interpreted as “calls to violence”.