Trump’s tweets attacking Democratic congresswomen don’t violate policy, Twitter says
U.S. President Donald Trump‘s Twitter tirade on Sunday, in which he used racist language and told progressive Democratic congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broke and crime infested places from which they came,” did not violate Twitter‘s hateful conduct policy, the company says.
Trump did not reference the women by name, but his tweets have been interpreted as a reference to a group of congresswomen of colour — Minn. Rep. Ilhan Omar, N.Y. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mass. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Mich. Rep Rashida Tlaib — known as ‘The Squad,’ who are among his strongest critics.
In an email to Global News Monday evening, a spokesperson for Twitter said Trump’s tweets do not violate the policy, but did not offer further comment.
According to Twitter’s website, the company’s Hateful conduct policy prohibits “targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category.”
This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.
The policy also prohibits the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion.
WATCH: Democratic congresswomen respond to Trump’s Twitter attack
“We are committed to combating abuse motivated by hatred, prejudice or intolerance, particularly abuse that seeks to silence the voices of those who have been historically marginalized,” the policy reads.
According to the website, when determining the penalty for violating the policy, the company considers a number of factors, including — but not limited to — the severity of the violation and an individual’s previous record of violating rules.
In June, Twitter announced changes to its policies, which say a tweet that that violates the service’s rules but that the company deems to involve matters of public interest will be obscured by a warning explaining the violation.
Users will have to tap through the warning to see the underlying message, but the tweet won’t be removed, as Twitter might do with a regular person’s posts.
“We may 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 policy reads. “When this happens, we add a notice to clarify that the Tweet violates our rules, but we believe it should be left up to serve this purpose.”
WATCH: Trump accuses Omar of hating Jews while defending tweets against congresswomen
The policy applies to government officials, candidates and other public figures with more than 100,000 followers.
In addition to applying the label, Twitter said it won’t use algorithms to elevate or otherwise promote such tweets.
Since they were posted on Saturday, Trump’s tweets have been denounced widely by Democrats.
On Monday, ‘The Squad’ held a press conference, calling the president’s tweets a distraction tactic.
“I encourage the American people, and all of us in this room and beyond, to not take the bait,” Pressley said. “This is a disruptive distraction from the issues of care, concern and consequence to the American people.”
“Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country to avoid challenging and debating the policy,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This president does not know how to make the argument that Americans do not deserve healthcare, he does not know how to defend his policies, so what he does is attack us personally. And that is what this is all about.”
WATCH: GOP mostly silent on Trump’s racist remarks toward 4 U.S. congresswomen
Earlier on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that House Democrats will introduce a resolution condemning Trump’s “xenophobic tweets.”
“Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president’s xenophobic tweets,” she wrote in a letter to her Democratic colleagues in the House.
WATCH: Trump denies tweets against 4 Democrats were racist
However, in a speech from the White House on Monday, Trump doubled down on the attack.
“If you’re not happy here, you can leave,” he said.
When asked by reporters if he was concerned that his tweets have been considered racist, he said he wasn’t.
“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me, and all I’m saying — if they want us to leave, they can leave,” he said.
— With files from the Associated Press
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.