In a six-part tweet from Twitter's public policy account, the company said that Twitter takes "newsworthiness" and "public interest" into account when determining whether a user has violated its rules.
Those considerations have long been used internally when deciding the fate of a problematic user, Twitter said. The company said it plans to update its public-facing policy soon to better reflect some of those other internal factors.
"We need to do better on this and will," Twitter said.
Trump's tweet came at time of heightened tensions between the US and North Korea, following several North Korean missile launches and nuclear tests that have drawn sharp criticism from the international community. On Friday a North Korean official said the country might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.
Trump and North Korean government have been engaged in a war of words, with North Korea's foreign minister calling Trump "mentally deranged" and Trump referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "Rocket Man."
After Trump's tweet on Saturday, North Korea's foreign minister told reporters that the country considers Trump's tweet to be a declaration of war, and that his country can thus legally shoot down US military planes, according to NPR.
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!-; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
Special Trump rules?
The episode has put Twitter in a difficult position, leading many observers to question how the company's policies against threats and abuse squared with tweets by Trump that some believe risk provoking a nuclear conflict.
Under its existing policy, Twitter reserves the right to remove content and disable accounts that post violent threats or harassment.
The company has left up Trump's tweet about North Korea because of its "newsworthiness" and "public interest value" -- two factors which are taken into account for all content considered otherwise in violation of the company's content policy.
That explanation struck some critics as tantamount to Twitter admitting that the usual rules don't apply to Trump.
Twitter insisted it was not being inconsistent in its rules. And the company promised to update its public-facing policy to give users a better understanding of its process.
Read the full response from Twitter's pubic policy group here:
THREAD: Some of you have been asking why we haven't taken down the Tweet mentioned here: https://t.co/CecwG0qHmq 1/6-; Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017
We hold all accounts to the same Rules, and consider a number of factors when assessing whether Tweets violate our Rules 2/6-; Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017
Among the considerations is "newsworthiness" and whether a Tweet is of public interest 3/6-; Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017
This has long been internal policy and we'll soon update our public-facing rules to reflect it. We need to do better on this, and will 4/6-; Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017
Twitter is committed to transparency and keeping people informed about what's happening in the world 5/6-; Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017
We’ll continue to be guided by these fundamental principles 6/6-; Twitter PublicPolicy (@Policy) September 25, 2017
This post was originally published in Business Insider.