Twitter To Tighten Rules For Politicians

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Intended for Trump? Tweets from politicians that break house rules will be hidden behind warning notice

Twitter says it will end its uneven enforcement of controversial tweets from politicians that break its internal rules.

The microblogging platform said that in the past it had allowed certain “tweets that violated our rules to remain on Twitter because they were in the public’s interest, but it wasn’t clear when and how we made those determinations.”

Going forward however, tweets by world leaders and politicians that break Twitter rules will now be hidden behind a warning notice.

Rule change

Twitter announced the clarification of its rules in a blog posting on the matter.

The new policy applies to government officials, anyone running for office, or are being considered for a government position. They have to have more 100,000 followers and a verified Twitter account.

Twitter admitted that in the past it had allowed controversial and rule breaking tweets from politicians to remain online.

But this will change somewhat going forward.

“With this in mind, there are certain cases where it may be in the public’s interest to have access to certain Tweets, even if they would otherwise be in violation of our rules,” blogged Twitter. “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.”

“We’ll also take steps to make sure the Tweet is not algorithmically elevated on our service, to strike the right balance between enabling free expression, fostering accountability, and reducing the potential harm caused by these Tweets,” it added.

An example of rule breaking tweets from politicians in the past that were allowed to remain online, includes the famous tweet by President Donald Trump, who in September 2017 made his infamous “rocketman” tweet about the North Korean leader.

“Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at UN,” tweeted Trump. “If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”

Trump meeting

In April President Trump had a face to face meeting with the boss of his favourite social networking platform, Twitter co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Jack Dorsey.

The meeting between the two men could have potentially been awkward for a number of reasons after President Trump hit out at the platform claiming it was discriminating against him and other republicans after the number of his followers fluctuated.

Jack Dorsey had previously said he wanted to encourage a productive, healthy conversation on the platform. The same platform that President Trump repeatedly uses to attack and criticise his opponents.

Dorsey had reportedly hoped to talk about Twitter’s attempts to help fix the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the United States.

But Trump instead decided to question Dorsey about why the number of his followers (Trump has 60 million) keeps changing.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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