The reason? Because the Iranian dictator’s tweets pass as “commentary on political issues of the day” while Trump’s could “inspire harm,” Twitter claims.
During a hearing in front of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, lawmakers grilled a Twitter representative over why the platform was policing missives from Trump, but not other world leaders such as Khamenei calling Israel “a cancerous growth.”
“You 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?” asked Arsen Ostrovsk, a human rights lawyer and member of the Israeli Jewish Congress.
“We 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,” the spokeswoman responded.
Stunned lawmaker Michal Cotler-Wunsh interrupted: “So calling for genocide is OK?”
“Calling for genocide on Twitter is OK, but commenting on political situations in certain countries is not OK?” she continued.
A clip of the exchange was shared on Twitter on Wednesday by former acting director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell who wrote: “This should be something the US media reports. Wow.”
Iran’s leader has repeatedly shared tweets calling Israel a “deadly, cancerous growth” to be “uprooted and destroyed” — all going unchecked by Twitter.
“The long-lasting virus of Zionism will be uprooted thanks to the determination and faith of the youth,” Khamenei wrote as recently as May.
The Twitter spokeswoman worked herself in a knot as she refused to answer why the platform had begun restricting the president’s tweets, but not Khamenei’s — leading to accusations of “double standards.”
“If a world leader violates our rules, but it is a clear interest in keeping that up on the servers, we may place it behind a notice that provides some more context about the violation,” the Twitter rep said.
“That it has 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,” she continued.
In May, Twitter placed a “public interest notice” on the president’s tweet amid violence in Minneapolis which read: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” leading to accusations of censorship and political bias.
Big tech CEOs were hauled before Congress on Wednesday as part of an antitrust hearing where Republican lawmakers accused sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google of being “out to get conservatives.”
“I’ll just cut to the chase: Big Tech is out to get conservatives,” Ohio Republican Jim Jordan said. “That’s not a suspicion, that’s not a hunch. That’s a fact.”
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