Twitter said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet warning that North Korea "won't be around much longer!" didn't violate its terms of service, which it said it would clarify publicly at a later date.
Trump tweeted Sunday that if North Korea's foreign minister "echoed thoughts of Little Rocket Man [Trump's nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un] they won't be around much longer!"
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
Five days earlier, Trump also tweeted that under certain circumstances, the United States "will have no choice but to destroy #NoKo."
In June, the White House said Trump's tweets "are considered official statements by the president of the United States."
In a thread on its Public Policy page, the company said it had been asked why it didn't take down Trump's tweet in light of its rule reading: "You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism."
"We hold all accounts to the same rules, and consider a number of factors when assessing whether Tweets violate our Rules," the company said. "Among the considerations is 'newsworthiness' and whether a Tweet is of public interest."
It acknowledged, however, that those guidelines were internal and that "we need to do better" on being transparent about its rules.
"We'll soon update our public-facing rules to reflect it," Twitter said.
Making those guidelines public could alleviate some of the criticism the social-media platform has come under since Trump announced his presidential campaign in 2015.
The company's publicly posted rules already ban "hateful conduct," including direct attacks on other people.
But since he launched his campaign, the president has tagged numerous people with insults like "low class snob," "perv sleazebag" and "low I.Q. crazy," — and he famously labeled his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, as "Crooked Hillary."
Here's the full thread Twitter posted on Monday:
THREAD: Some of you have been asking why we haven't taken down the Tweet mentioned here: https://t.co/CecwG0qHmq 1/6— Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017
We hold all accounts to the same Rules, and consider a number of factors when assessing whether Tweets violate our Rules 2/6— Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017
Among the considerations is "newsworthiness" and whether a Tweet is of public interest 3/6— Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017
This has long been internal policy and we'll soon update our public-facing rules to reflect it. We need to do better on this, and will 4/6— Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017
Twitter is committed to transparency and keeping people informed about what's happening in the world 5/6— Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017
We’ll continue to be guided by these fundamental principles 6/6— Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017