Twitter Defends Leaving Ayatollah’s Tweets Alone While Blocking Trump’s
Earlier this week, during a hearing on Anti-Semitism in front of the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, lawmakers asked Ylwa Pettersson, Twitter’s head of Public Policy and Philanthropy, why the site was restricting certain tweets from President Trump but not tweets from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, some of which call for the genocide of the Israeli people and calling Israel “a cancerous growth.”
Arsen Ostrovsky, a human rights lawyer and executive director of the Israeli-Jewish Congress, asked, “[Y]ou have recently started flagging the tweets of President Trump. Why have you not flagged the tweets of Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has literally called for the genocide of Israel and the Jewish people?”
Pettersson egregiously responded, “[W]e have an approach to world leaders that presently say that direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day, or foreign policy saber-rattling on military and economic issues are generally not in violation of our Twitter rules.”
“So calling for genocide is OK? Calling for genocide on Twitter is OK, but commenting on political situations in certain countries is not OK?” asked shocked lawmaker Michal Cotler-Wunsh.
Pettersson replied: “If a world leader violates our rules, but if there is a clear interest in keeping that on the service, we may place it behind a notice that provides some more context about the violation and allows people to click if they wish to see that type of content. That is what happened for the Trump tweet. That tweet was violating our policies regarding the glorification of violence, based on the historical context of the last line of that tweet, and the risk that it could possibly inspire harm and similar actions.
“And, as it was in the interest of the public to keep that on the platform, we decided to keep it up, place it behind a notice … to limit the interaction with it, but because it is of importance to have it remain so that the citizens can see what their political figures are commenting and hold them accountable for what they’re saying online.”
Cotler-Wunsh was clearly unimpressed, and rightly so. She responded as such: “I think that what’s come up again and again through different examples is actually a sense of double standards, and I would implore Twitter and other online platforms to ensure … that there is no double standard in the application” of rules.
Former acting DNI and ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell tweeted a video of the hearing:
This should be something the US media reports. Wow. https://t.co/y5iCNwx7yZ
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) July 29, 2020
“Wow” is the correct response to watching this. The Left hates Trump more than the leader of the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. Because that’s how morally corrupt they are.