The social media giant, Twitter, has announced that it will begin labeling tweets from national political figures. Twitter's previous policies would have taken down such political tweets for breaking its rules.
The policy change was announced yesterday (Thursday), stating that this would apply to political candidates and government officials who have more than 100,000 followers.
Furthermore, tweets that violate Twitter's guidelines will be hidden from users and a warning will be displayed that says "The Twitter Rules about abusive behavior apply to this Tweet. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain available."
Twitter wrote on its blog announcing the decision:
"Serving the public conversation includes providing the ability for anyone to talk about what matters to them; this can be especially important when engaging with government officials and political figures. By nature of their positions these leaders have outsized influence and sometimes say things that could be considered controversial or invite debate and discussion. A critical function of our service is providing a place where people can openly and publicly respond to their leaders and hold them accountable."
Additionally, such would be de-prioritized by Twitter's algorithms and removed from safe search so they would circulate to fewer people on the platform. Twitter says a team of editors will enforce the rules and determine if the label would need to be applied to the message.
According to Twitter's TOS, they ban any tweets that contain threats, glorifies violence, bullying, targeted harassment, or inciting other people to harass. "Hateful conduct," including threats or harassment on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender, religion or other factors, can also be removed. Twitter has also banned users and removed tweets that have not directly encouraged violence, but could lead to real-world injury.
What do you think of this pivot on Twitter's end?
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