- Twitter is retracting its reason for why it allowed anti-Muslim videos shared by Donald Trump — but is leaving them up anyway.
- The US president retweeted videos posted by a British far-right extremist, to universal outrage in Britain.
- Twitter now says that the videos don’t violated its rules after all.
On Wednesday, Donald Trump caused a firestorm of condemnation on both sides of the Atlantic when he retweeted a series of anti-Muslim videos originally shared on Twitter by a far-right British extremist.
The videos purport to show violence by Muslims, but at least one of the videos has been shown to be inaccurate and the others appear designed to be inflammatory by omitting crucial context.
Twitter on Friday retracted the initial explanation it gave for why the controversial videos were allowed to remain on the site — but the company insisted that the videos are fine anyway and do not cross the bounds of what it considers permissible.
Originally, the social network had said that the tweets violated its rules, but it had made an active decision to allow them anyway because of their newsworthiness. “To help ensure people have an opportunity to see every side of an issue, there may be the rare occasion when we allow controversial content or behavior which may otherwise violate our rules to remain on our service because we believe there is a legitimate public interest in its availability,” a spokesperson said at the time.
“Each situation is evaluated on a case by case basis and ultimately decided upon by a cross-functional team.”
But there seems to have been some confusion at Twitter. The company has now retracted that explanation and said that the videos don’t violate its rules after all — sparking concern over the company’s application of its rules given its well-documented harassment problem.