ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Almost immediately after President Donald Trump tweeted that he has a bigger and more powerful "nuclear button" than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, his critics began crying foul that the president’s tweet violated Twitter’s policies on abusive behavior.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
But based on rules updated by Twitter in December, Trump is exempt from the social media platform’s rules on violence and physical harm.
The company’s official rules on abusive behavior state:
“You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people.”
Many reported the president’s tweet to Twitter as a violent threat, even though the language in the tweet can easily be interpreted as an implied threat rather than an overt threat.
We have two assignments for you.— VoteVets (@votevets) January 3, 2018
1. On behalf of the American troops at the DMZ, as well as the millions more who would die if war breaks out, report Trump's tweet to @Twitter as a violent threat.
2. Call your member of Congress and tell them to step in. 202-224-3121. pic.twitter.com/yQlK499mfy
However, an updated version of Twitter’s rules released on December 18 specifically exclude government and military entities.
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