Twitter to hide rule-bending tweets by politicians, top users behind an explainer

Twitter on Thursday announced it will now indicate when and why certain tweets that go against its terms of service remain on the platform.

Often, the company doesn’tt remove tweets that violate its rules because the information is thought to be useful to the public.

“A critical function of our service is providing a place where people can openly and publicly respond to their leaders and hold them accountable,” Twitter said in the announcement.

The company believes that tweets by public figures and politicians alike, as well as other public interest tweets, can contribute to healthy and contextual conversation, even if they breaks the rules.

“On the rare occasions when this happens, we’ll place a notice — a screen you have to click or tap through before you see the Tweet — to provide additional context and clarity,” the company explained.

The notification will only apply to tweets from accounts that are verified, have more than 100 000 followers, or affiliated to governments.

In deciding if a rule-breaking tweet is in the public interest, Twitter will consider things like the “immediacy and severity of potential harm from the rule violation”, if removing the tweet removes context about a social issue and if the tweet provides grounds to hold officials accountable.

“When a Tweet has this notice placed on it, it will feature less prominently on Twitter,” the company also noted.

The new notice will be in affect on Twitter from today, but the company doesn’t expect to use it often.

Feature image: Twitter

Shereesa Moodley


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