Twitter Inc management confirmed that accounts belonging to world leaders have special status on the microblog network, frustrating users who have called on the company to banish U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” Twitter said in a post on a corporate blog.
Twitter’ management has declared previously that “newsworthiness” and whether a tweet is “of public interest” are among the factors it considers before removing an account or a tweet.
The public concerns about legal framework of powers of social media are at rise, amid closure or a number of prominent political players: the beginning of this year Greek party Golden Dawn, the third group in the parliament discovered their microblog was shut down. In Germany Twitter blocked for 12 hours the account of Beatrix von Storch, the deputy parliamentary leader for the Alternative for Germany party.
The sequence of events started when Cologne police tweeted a New Year’s greeting in Arabic, along with English and French, von Storch reacted on Twitter: “What the hell is happening in this country? Why is an official police site tweeting in Arabic? Do you think it is to appease the barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men?”. She clearly referred to the dramatic events in Cologne when hundreds of German women were trapped as victims of sexual assaults by migrants during New Year celebration at central square of town.
However, Beatrix von Storch Twitter microblog was blocked/suspended, the Facebook page with the similar message reacted by deleting her post: “Facebook has now also censored me. This is the end of the rule of law.” – the deputy leader of AfD wrote.
Both Twitter and Facebook as well as YouTube campaigned against the new law called the Network Enforcement Act, which gives social media firms 24 hours to remove content considered sedition, threat, insult or slander. Civil rights groups have raised concern about the damages to free speech.