Twitter Called on to Take Action Over Trump's "Nuclear Button" Post
Twitter says the tweet does not violate its terms of service.
President Donald Trump's "nuclear button" tweet aimed at North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has resurfaced questions about whether Trump's posts should violate his social media platform of choice's Twitter Rules.
The tweet came late Tuesday night in response to threats made against the U.S. in Kim Jong-un's New Year's address, in which the leader said he has a "nuclear button" on his office desk. Trump replied, "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!"
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
The president, however, does not have a "nuclear button" at his disposal; the process for launching a strike is far more complex.
The tweet left many Twitter users, including a handful out of Hollywood, wanting to know whether the "unhinged" president's "scary and ridiculous" tweet violated Twitter's terms of service.
Some Twitter users reported the tweet and shared the automated reply they received from Twitter, while others tweeted directly at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The automated response from Twitter told users, "We have reviewed your report carefully and found that there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior," and included a link to the Rules.
"You can save the world by not allowing threats that will end up killing millions of people's lives," singer will.i.am tweeted directly at Dorsey. "This is scary & ridiculous.... Publishing global death threats on twitter isn't 'freedom of speech.' You can help ease the worlds anxiety by placing new twitter rules."
In San Francisco, protestors projected the phrase “@jack is #complicit” onto Twitter’s headquarters late Tuesday night. And late night's Jimmy Kimmel was able to fit the topic into his monologue: "Happy New Year, everybody! We have two maniacs with nuclear warheads bragging about who has the bigger button.”
On Wednesday, Twitter confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the tweet does not violate its terms of service regarding abusive content.
Under the Twitter Rules section surrounding abusive behavior, the platform says it takes into consideration whether the behavior is targeted at an individual or group of people, whether the report has been filed by the target of the abuse or a bystander, and if the behavior is newsworthy and in the legitimate public interest.
This is far from the first tweet from Trump to raise the topic. After Trump tweeted a taunting tweet about "Little Rocket Man" in September, Twitter had also announced that it assesses "newsworthiness" and "whether a Tweet is of public interest" when determining if a tweet violates its terms of service.
“What does this mean to have a direct line to how he's thinking in real time? I'm not sure," Dorsey had said of Trump's tweeting at Recode's Code Commerce conference in December. "We certainly play a big part in distributing news and opinions and what people think about what's going on in the world. And you know we have a role and a responsibility to make sure people are seeing what they need to see and they can have easy conversations and really get to the truth. And that's complicated. We are learning as quickly as we can."
.@jack you can save the world by not allowing threats that will end up killing millions of people's lives...— will.i.am (@iamwill) January 3, 2018
This is scary & ridiculous...
Publishing global death threats on twitter isn't "freedom of speech"
You can help ease the worlds anxiety by placing new twitter rules. https://t.co/3MmCYm5zyQ
When young men become old men, the best acquire wisdom: The wisdom to know when to teach and when to learn, when to speak and when to listen, when to lead and when to follow, when to fight and when to make peace. You are age without wisdom, old man. I hope I’m never like you. https://t.co/xNSj1rZoRv— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) January 3, 2018
Do I really need to say this isn’t normal? If you think this is normal, get off of twitter and seek help immediately. We are in the hands of a psychopath who thinks the world and life and death are part of his reality TV show. This must end. He isn’t fit to babysit let alone lead https://t.co/VdyFWe3lub— Josh Gad (@joshgad) January 3, 2018
This is not normal.This is not funny.Seriously-Is there a rational adult on the inside who would intervene & rescind an unstable individual's order to PUSH that Nuclear Button?(On both sides-on both sides..)#TerrifyingTauntingTyrants #ArmageddonAnxietyAgain https://t.co/I9reRu9q38— @HamillHimself (@HamillHimself) January 3, 2018
The President of the USA is completely unhinged. https://t.co/k7O5X44eio— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) January 3, 2018
In the wake of a stunningly irresponsible tweet by our stunningly irresponsible president, the silence of the 'country over party' Republican caucus is deafening indeed.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 3, 2018
If ever there was a time to speak out and rein in the putative leader of your party, that time would be now.
Please don’t make me picture your “Button.”— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) January 3, 2018
...also don’t start a nuclear war, you “Buttonhead.” https://t.co/kfFvLkBMk4