Twitter has allowed the Twitter account of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyyeh to remain active, despite a policy of a permanent ban on former President Donald Trump’s account for “risk of further incitement of violence.”
During the escalating crisis in Israel and the Gaza Strip, it was noted by journalist Jordan Schactel that the Hamas political leader celebrated the “bombing of Tel Aviv.”
They kicked Donald Trump off of Twitter. Meanwhile, the leader of Hamas is on this platform celebrating "the bombing of Tel Aviv." pic.twitter.com/GSnoQwdIJr
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) May 11, 2021
The Twitter account of Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, has also remained on the platform.
Former FCC chairman Ajit Pai pointed some of Khamenei’s controversial tweets, including his calling of Israel “a deadly, cancerous growth and a detriment to this region” in May 2020.
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPai) May 29, 2020
Twitter has not directly commented on the accounts. In a 2019 blog post detailing its policy of accounts of world leaders, the company said they “are not above our policies entirely” and outlined certain actions that would lead to enforcement action, including:
- Promotion of terrorism;
- Clear and direct threats of violence against an individual (context matters: as noted above, direct interactions with fellow public figures and/or commentary on political and foreign policy issues would likely not result in enforcement);
- Posting private information, such as a home address or non-public personal phone number;
- Posting or sharing intimate photos or videos of someone that were produced or distributed without their consent;
- Engaging in behaviors relating to child sexual exploitation; and
- Encouraging or promoting self-harm.