Twitter Announces A Smart Change In Content Policy For World Leaders

If tweets from influential government officials have pissed you off in recent times, then Twitter has finally stood up to make the situation better. With a recent development in content policy, the social media giant has officially announced to label all such tweets of government officials that break the rules.

The new rule seems to be a very constructive response to the criticism that Twitter had to face for years and situations where the company had to smartly avoid blames of political favoritism. For example in recent times, there has been enough debate about President Donald Trumps' tweets and why Twitter takes no action, when he intentionally breaks the platform's content policies.

Although the new policy did not target Trump directly but this new rule will stand applicable to all verified government officials, representatives or candidates for a government position who have more than 100,000 followers each.

The blog post, which was published on Thursday, had a slight drastic effect on shares of Twitter as they dropped down from 1% but fortunately enough a quick recovery has also been observed.

In 2018, Twitter shared their concerns about blocking problematic tweets of world leaders in another blog post and stated that blocking world leaders of their tweets would eventually hide important public information which people should have access to. The move won’t work as shut up call to the leader but instead it can affect the decisions based around their words and actions.

However, the new policy in place is a sudden shift from the previous statement as Twitter has decided to put out a notice over tweets that might violate the standards but would still contain some public interest value. If users are interested to see it, they will have to click on it.

The notice will include "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," according to the blog post.

Apart from that they have even promised to stop such messages from spreading with changes in algorithms. Moreover, to determine the value of tweet for public interest and its context, Twitter will hand over the task to employees from trust and safety, legal, public policy and regional teams. Together they will evaluate factors like immediacy and severity of potential harm from the rule violation. They will also take into account the fact that whether saving the tweet will allow for public accountability and serve as a context, that might not be available otherwise.

Defining public interest on Twitter
Photo: AP

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