Twitter announced Thursday that it is cracking down on content that doesn’t meet with its rules. Until now, it allowed such posts even if they violated Twitter’s policies because they were in the public interest.
Twitter is not saying it will take down the posts or even censor them, but it will label them with a warning that reads, “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.”
This label applies to only accounts that:
- Belong to or represent government officials, candidates running for political offices and anyone who’s next in line to take a government position
- Have more than 100,000 followers
- Are Twitter verified
Twitter said the label doesn’t apply to posts that violate its rules or those that direct violence and any posts that wouldn’t be of public interest or is a threat to public safety. Any tweets with the new public interest label will feature less prominently in your news feeds.
Sometimes, we decide that it may be in the public’s interest for certain Tweets to remain on Twitter, even if they would otherwise break our rules. We’re going to start using a new notice to make it clear when we make these decisions. Read more:https://t.co/XqlJ9KHgir
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) June 27, 2019
With the 2020 presidential election year approaching, we have to wonder whether the label really serves the public interest or whether it does more to draw attention to political hash-slinging.