Twitter's Dorsey dodges question on whether Trump's tweets are abusive

The Twitter CEO points to the social network's terms of service instead of giving an answer.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Testifies To House Hearing On Company's Transparency and Accountability

Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey testifies during a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing about Twitter's transparency and accountability.

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Twitter's CEO managed to avoid giving an answer on whether President Donald Trump's tweets are abusive or harmful. 

During a House committee hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Bobby Rush, a Democrat from Illinois, asked Jack Dorsey if the commander in chief's tweets violated the social network's terms of service. 

Watch this: Twitter CEO on Trump's tweets

"Do you consider President Trump's tweets to be abusive or harmful at all?" Rush asked Dorsey. 

Using Twitter, Trump has attacked companies like Amazon and Google, as well as private citizens like union leader Chuck Jones in 2016. Over time, Dorsey has defended the president's presence on Twitter, claiming that the social network is giving the world a direct line to world leaders and fostering an "open conversation." 

In response to Rush's question, Dorsey took a different tone. 

"We hold every account to the same standard and consistency of our enforcement," Dorsey said. "We do have a clause within our terms of services that allows for public interest and understanding of public interest per tweet. We definitely weigh that as we consider enforcement." 

That clause was added January. The new rules say that Twitter wouldn't block or remove controversial tweets from world leaders and elected officials, even if it violated Twitter's policies.