Twitter announced Friday afternoon that it will not block or delete controversial tweets from world leaders, in what appeared to be a thinly veiled response to President Trump's recent taunt of North Korea and its nuclear weapons and missile programs.
"Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate," a statement from the social media company said. "It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions."
The statement made no mention of any particular world leader, but comes just days after President Trump made waves by goading North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about his "nuclear button."
"North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times,'" Trump tweeted Tuesday. "Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Trump has long had a penchant for speaking his mind in the form of tweets, whether it's promoting his agenda or mocking his political rivals. Trump has also sent out barbs at world leaders, including previously tweeting about "Little Rocket Man" Kim Jong Un, which have raised concerns about the foreign policy implications of his sometimes inflammatory tweets.
Twitter said it does "review" tweets by leaders, but only "within the political context that defines them, and enforce our rules accordingly."
"No one person's account drives Twitter’s growth, or influences these decisions," Twitter added. "We work hard to remain unbiased with the public interest in mind."
Though Twitter will not ban or censure world leaders, it has recently cracked down on right-wing figures, banning some and stripping verification badges from others. Twitter has also taken steps to stem the tide of misinformation or "fake news."