Market Overview

Twitter Won't Block Rule-Breaking Tweets From Public Figures, But Will Warn You

Twitter Won't Block Rule-Breaking Tweets From Public Figures, But Will Warn You

Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) said Thursday it will continue to allow the most-followed public figures to post content that would typically violate its abusive behavior rules, but will make it harder for offending tweets to gain traction and will require those who want to see the tweets to go through an extra step.

While the company said the new method for dealing with rule-breaking tweets by public figures wasn’t aimed at any particular individual, President Donald Trump is among the Twitter users whose posts could be ffected aby the new practice.

The only tweets that will be subject to the new practice will be those from verified accounts by government officials or candidates for office who have more than 100,000 followers. Trump’s twitter account has more than 61 million followers.

The new method of trying to keep people from having to see tweets that break the company’s rules while still allowing them to be viewed is not retroactive. 

How The New Rules Will Work 

“There are certain cases where it may be in the public’s interest to have access to certain Tweets,” according to a blog post on Twitter's website.  

Twitter’s stock price dipped after the company posted its announcement, but quickly rebounded.

Under the new practice, when politicians or public officials post a tweet that violates the company’s already-established abusive behavior rules, the tweet will be obscured in feeds.

The offending tweet will come with a note that the post violates the rules, but that it might be in the public interest to allow it to be viewed by those who want to see it.

“The Twitter Rules about abusive behavior apply to this Tweet,” the Twitter feed will say. “However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain available.” The user will then have to click through to view the tweet.

Certain rule-breaking tweets, such as threats of violence or calls for violence against a particular person, are still likely to be blocked and deemed “unlikely to be considered in the public interest,” the company said.

In addition to requiring users to “opt-in” to see the tweets that break the rules but are in the public interest, the company will also prevent the tweets from being “algorithmically elevated."

This is meant “to strike the right balance between enabling free expression, fostering accountability, and reducing the potential harm caused by these Tweets," according to Twitter.

Such tweets will not show up in recommended push notifications or some other promoted parts of Twitter, or on accounts using “safe search,” the company said.

“Given the conditions … it’s unlikely you'll encounter it often,” Twitter said of the new warnings.

“We cannot predict the first time it will be used, but we wanted to give you more information about this new notice before you come across it on Twitter.”

Price Action

Twitter shares were down 1.42% at $34.75 at the close Thursday. 

Related Links 

Trump: Social Media Companies 'Trying To Rig The Election' 

How Should Facebook Approach Free Speech On Its Platforms?

Posted-In: Donald Trump social mediaNews Politics Tech Media General Best of Benzinga


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