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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

World leaders will not be banned from Twitter

Statement from platform comes after calls to remove Donald Trump over comments about North Korea

Donald Trump: Unfit for office or stable genius? (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Donald Trump: Unfit for office or stable genius? (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Twitter will not block controversial tweets by world leaders, the company confirmed following calls to remove Donald Trump from the platform over his sabre-rattling comments about the size of his nuclear button.

In a statement “World Leaders on Twitter”, the platform said it would not remove world leaders or censor their tweets because of their “outsized impact” on society.

“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” it said.

The statement did not mention Mr Trump by name but follows his spat with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the ability of the hermit state to launch a nuclear attack on the US mainland.

In the latest jibe against the North Korean leader, Mr Trump denigrated the potency of the North Korean nuclear arsenal.

The comments prompted complaints that Twitter was providing Mr Trump with a ‘bully pulpit’ and the president contravened its terms and conditions that addressed violence and threats.

Mr Trump was criticised last month by the British prime minister Theresa May for re-tweeting three inflammatory videos posted by a far-right group.

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In its statement, Twitter said that the company existed to "serve and help advance the global, public conversation" and therefore would not remove content from elected world leaders.

“We are working to make Twitter the best place to see and freely discuss everything that matters. We believe that’s the best way to help our society make progress,” it said.