Now that a North Korean diplomat has said that one of President Trump's tweets about the country and its leader is equivalent to a "declaration of war," can Twitter as a company continue to justify allowing Trump's account to remain active i.e. wouldn't a declaration of war with nuclear devastation implications be a violation of the company's policy against threats, harassment, and incitement?
That's the question BuzzFeed is asking, and so far Twitter isn't commenting. A spokesperson for the company would only say that Twitter "does not comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons."
The tweet, below, was posted Saturday, and North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho gave a statement outside the UN in response saying, "The UN charter stipulates individual member states’ rights to self-defense. Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures including the right to shoot down the United States’ strategic bombers even when they’re not yet inside the airspace border of our country."
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
President Trump dashed off this tweet in the midst of his weekend Twitter fight over the NFL's response to players who refuse to stand for the national anthem, and over Golden State Warrior Steph Curry's Friday comments about refusing an invitation to the White House for the championship team. That continued with a series of tweets about NFL players protesting Trump's own tweets, and praising NASCAR on Saturday.
As BuzzFeed notes, the tweet about North Korea could be in clear violation of Twitter's guidelines which guard against "If a primary purpose of the reported account is to harass or send abusive messages to others; [or] If the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats."
Given the very grave potential consequences of this escalation with a hostile foreign power, via tweet, BuzzFeed points out that this "is clearly uncharted territory for the social network" which has, in the past, been very inconsistent in its patrolling and enforcement of harassment that is, unless, in the case of actress Leslie Jones being trolled last year by Milo Yiannopoulos and his followers, the victim is a celebrity.
No doubt, if Trump's Twitter account were suspended there would be cries of censorship on the right, just as Yiannopoulos framed his Twitter banning as censorship last year, declaring Twitter "over" at the time.