Twitter to now disclose when public figures break the rules

Twitter public interest hidden tweets

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.

From Twit­ters blog post on the issue:

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.

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