Donald Trump tweet threatening nuclear war against North Korea probably won't be removed from Twitter

Threats of nuclear war are likely to be deemed newsworthy

Andrew Griffin@_andrew_griffin
Wednesday 03 January 2018 09:33
Kim Jong-un signals 'path to dialogue open' with South as he warns US of 'nuclear button'

Donald Trump's tweet threatening nuclear war probably won't ever be removed from Twitter, despite the chance it could bring about destruction to the world.

The President mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after he said that he has the nuclear button always on his desk. Mr Trump also has a nuclear button, he made clear, and one that "works".

Despite the fact that the tweet could easily be read as a threat of nuclear war, it's unlikely the post will be removed. Twitter has committed to keeping Mr Trump's tweets up, even when they include threats of violence and false information.

The newest tweet came despite an apparent suggestion from Pyongyang that it could open talks with South Korea. Mr Trump, however, appeared to be taking specific aim at Kim Jong-un's earlier comments about the nuclear button.

"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!" the President tweeted.

It's not the first time that Mr Trump has used aggressive language on Twitter that has been taken as a threat of war, and which has stayed up. In September, North Korea said that it considered the President's tweet that Kim "wont' be around much longer" a declaration of war – but the site said it considered posts on a variety of criteria, one of which is newsworthiness, and that since it satisfied that it would be staying on the site.

In December, when Donald Trump retweeted Islamophobic and false posts from Britain First, the site said that it would leave the posts online so that people could "see every side of an issue". It also said that it believes "there is a legitimate public interest in [the] availability" of those posts, a defence it has used repeatedly in keeping up Mr Trump's tweets.

The latest tweets and threats of violence are in contravention of Twitter's terms of service, which explicitly forbid violent and abusive posts.

Numerous people claimed that the post didn't only break Twitter's terms of service, but potentially the constitution of the US.

"This Tweet alone is grounds for removal from office under the 25th Amendment," tweeted Richard Painter, who served as George Bush's ethics lawyer. "This man should not have nukes."

But the site is almost certain to leave the post around as a result of its newsworthiness. Twitter has repeatedly suggested that Mr Trump's position means that he is subject to different rules from other Twitter users, and that violent or even warmongering posts

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