After it revealed plans to add warning labels on debatable tweets from prominent users in March, Twitter has announced that the labels are now live. And the company promised it will clarify why and when it will remove a tweet for violating the rules.
Twitter said it wants to build a place where users have the freedom to reply to leaders and hold them liable.
There will be cases when the public may find it relevant to have access to certain tweets, even if it violates the rules.
If this happens—rare as it may be—Twitter will notify you to click or tap through before the content appears. This provides more context and clarity.
Twitter will also prevent these tweets from ending up atop users’ feeds.
The company said it wants to find a balance between freedom of expression, accountability and reducing potential harm.
In this example, the warning states that, despite violating Twitter rules, the tweet will appear after a tapping View to see the actual tweet.
The move aims to address concerns of antisocial, controversial messages on the platform. It also wants you to still have the option of sharing the original content, and host later discussions.
The controversial tweets of prominent users have turned Twitter into a disquieting arena recently.
Whether you are calling for audience action or threatening nuclear war, Twitter has maintained that tweets from prominent users are here to stay.
Even if these tweets violate several rules and community guidelines, Twitter says these tweets are in the public interest.
These high-profile users have a separate set of rules from everyone else. If this is the case, these users have no defined rules and leaves Twitter with a grim editorial process, subjectively determining which tweets are crossing the line.
For instance, Twitter found that Alex Jones crossed the line while US President Trump often has not.
Twitter says that the new warning labels applies to violating accounts under these three criteria:
- Be or represent a government official, be running for public office, or be considered for a government position (i.e., next in line, awaiting confirmation, named successor to an appointed position);
- Have more than 100,000 followers; and
- Be verified.
If the tweet is about direct threats of violence, or calls to incite violence against an individual, these will unlikely be in the public interest and will be removed right away, rather than stay hidden behind the warning label.
A tweet hidden behind a warning label will not appear in searches, the notifications tab, recommendations and Life Events pages.
The warning labels will not apply to tweets older than June 28, 2019, but from today forward. It will help Twitter be more transparent in its decisions.