SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK – Twitter Inc. said it allowed anti-Muslim videos that were retweeted by President Donald Trump because they didn’t break rules on forbidden content, backtracking from an earlier rationale that the posts were newsworthy.
On Thursday, a Twitter spokesperson said “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.”
The response was criticized by people who said Trump’s retweets violated Twitter policies since the video was inciting violence. On Friday, Twitter back-tracked on its initial explanation.
“We mistakenly pointed to the wrong reason we didn’t take action on the videos from earlier this week,” Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey tweeted on Friday. “We’re still looking critically at all of our current policies, and appreciate all the feedback.”
Twitter’s safety department tried to clarify by saying the videos “are not being kept up because they are newsworthy or for public interest. Rather, these videos are permitted on Twitter based on our current media policy.” It didn’t specify which part of the policy, however, the company is updating it soon.
The social network’s content rules currently forbid videos containing “some forms of graphic violence or adult content,” according to its website. A note at the top of the website says the policy will be “updated later this year to include hate symbols and hateful imagery.”