Stuart Breckenridge

Why Hasn't Twitter Removed Trump's Retweets?

Ivana Kottasová, writing for CNN:

President Trump has been heavily criticized for his decision to retweet three graphic anti-Muslim videos.

But why did Twitter allow them in the first place?

The anti-Muslim videos were first posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the far-right party Britain First. They depict violent assaults and the destruction of a statue of the Virgin Mary.

They also appear to violate the terms of use published by Twitter. It warns users: “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”

Asked why the original tweets have not been deleted, a Twitter spokesperson said:

“To help ensure people have an opportunity to see every side of an issue, there may be the rare occasion when we allow controversial content or behavior which may otherwise violate our rules to remain on our service because we believe there is a legitimate public interest in its availability.”

Twitter knows these tweets violate their rules and by not acting to remove them they show just how spineless they are as an organisation. There is no legitimate public interest in seeing these videos, one of which has already been debunked by the Dutch Embassy.

Twitter have effectively given Trump a blank cheque to say what he wants regardless of impact or truth. Their leadership should be ashamed of themselves.