“It’s one rule for them, and another for the rest of us,” is how many people now view Twitter’s approach to managing controversial content posted to the social network.
While ordinary people would likely be suspended from Twitter for inciting hatred, violence, or nuclear war, for example, world leaders are seemingly exempt from such blocks. Last week, the company reiterated its position that accounts belonging to world leaders hold special status, which followed a previously elucidated stance around the “newsworthy” value of tweets emanating from Trump.
“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” the company said in a statement.
So does this mean that Donald Trump can literally write whatever he wants on Twitter without fear of retribution? Not so, according to Bruce Daisley, Twitter’s VP for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).
During a U.K. interview on the Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5 Live today, Daisley pointed to Twitter’s rules on disclosing private information as a hypothetical example of suspension rules he said apply to all users. So, for example, if Donald Trump tweeted out personal information about a third party, such as their credit card information, personal phone number, or address, that could garner a warning. “If someone tweets private information, if someone tweets someone’s private address, phone number, then they are no-go areas where we don’t permit that,” said Daisley. “So in those instances, what we often say is we ask for that tweet to be removed.”
Just a cautionary request to remove a tweet? Well, Daisley didn’t say what the company would do if the caution was ignored, but going by Twitter’s official rules on the matter, first-time offenders need to simply remove the tweet, though the company may also temporarily block a user from their account. The rules continue: “People who violate this policy more than once and/or accounts dedicated to posting private information may be suspended.”
So there you have it. If Trump ever decides to tweet out the personal information of someone he doesn’t care for, there’s a chance he may get booted off the social network after all. Don’t hold your breath, though.