They won’t remove them though…
This follows up a post back in 2018, that Twitter would not block world leaders. Whilst not naming a particular politician, I think we all have an idea on who they are referring to, Twitter will hide by default, but not remove tweets which break their rules.
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. 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.
This highlights the troubled waters Twitter, and other social media providers have to navigate through. On what to do with someones whose tweets may be the public interest, and in many ways are their primary way of communicating, yet also post things that clearly breach the rules that everyone else has to abide by. It’s a good start to protect the community, and I know that in the US, Free speech is treated in a very different way in the US (a near absolute hill to die on) than the more measured approach in the UK and Europe.
Ultimately it is worth remembering that Twitter is a private company, and like almost all online spaces this a private space, not a public commons. As I wrote on the original post.
Its worth remembering that Twitter can do this as a private company, they can set their own rules. Its a private space thats treated as a public space, and we need to decide how ok we are with that.
I just wished the rules where enforced uniformly and fairly, which a lot of the time they don’t appear to be.