In a lengthy blog post Tuesday, Twitter reiterated that it will not suspend President Trump’s Twitter account despite California Sen. Kamala Harris’ recent calls to suspend him from the platform.
At Tuesday night’s debate, Harris urged Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to join her in demanding that Twitter shut down Trump’s account as ”a matter of safety and corporate accountability” on the topic of powerful technology companies.
“I would urge you to join me because here we have Donald Trump, who has 65 million Twitter followers and is using that platform as the president of the United States to openly intimidate witnesses, to threaten witnesses, to obstruct justice,” Harris said.
In its response earlier Tuesday, Twitter said it will remove tweets from the president only if he explicitly violates its rules.
“We focus on the language of reported Tweets and do not attempt to determine all potential interpretations of the content or its intent,” Twitter said, calling the actions of world leaders on Twitter “largely new ground and unprecedented.”
Echoing users who have long requested the same, Harris has made repeated calls for the president’s account to be taken down, including in a direct letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey earlier this month. Harris has pointed to Trump’s attacks on the whistleblower at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as well as his connection to the August mass shooting in El Paso that killed 22 people.
“We saw in El Paso that that shooter in his manifesto was informed by how Donald Trump uses that platform,” she said Tuesday.
Look let's be honest, @realDonaldTrump's Twitter account should be suspended.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 1, 2019
Warren disagreed before quickly moving on to her proposals to break up tech companies like Amazon and Facebook.
“I don’t just want to push Donald Trump off Twitter. I want to push him out of the White House. That’s our job,” Warren said.
In its blog post, Twitter listed scenarios that would spur enforcement, including promoting terrorism, posting someone’s private information or images without their consent, child sexual exploitation and promoting self-harm.
It also named “clear and direct threats of violence against an individual” as reason for enforcement, but added a specific note for high-profile accounts like Trump’s: “(context matters: as noted above, direct interactions with fellow public figures and/or commentary on political and foreign policy issues would likely not result in enforcement).”
“In other cases involving a world leader, we will err on the side of leaving the content up if there is a clear public interest in doing so,” Twitter said.