Twitter to Tag Rule-Breaking Politicians, Celebrities With Warning Labels

The new rule will affect only those who have at least 100,00 followers

Twitter's flagging policy
Twitter is finally doing something about all the bullying. (Jaap Arriens/ NurPhoto)
By Ariel Scotti / June 28, 2019 11:38 am

Twitter announced this week that it will start to intervene if and when politicians violate the social media site’s rules.

Tweet from national figures who have at least 100,000 followers will now carry a warning label if they break the rules. The tweet’s will remain on the site, however, instead of suffering the usual consequence of being removed because, according to Twitter, the public is likely interested in what they have to say, The Washington Post reported.

“In the past, we’ve allowed certain Tweets that violated our rules to remain on Twitter because they were in the public’s interest, but it wasn’t clear when and how we made those determinations,” Twitter said in a blog post. “To fix that, we’re introducing a new notice that will provide additional clarity in these situations, and sharing more on when and why we’ll use it.”

Before users and followers can view the tweet, they’ll have to click through a label 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.” The offending tweet will also be de-prioritized by Twitter, meaning an algorithm will ensure that fewer people see it, according to the Post. A team has been assembled at Twitter specifically to oversee these new features.

Things that Twitter alleges it’s not cool with include “threats, glorifications of violence, bullying, targeted harassment and the incitement of others to harass.” It also reserves the right to remove anything it feels is “hateful conduct,” which can cover anything that looks like harassment or a threat based on someone’s race, sexual orientation, gender or religion.

Twitter’s decision to implement this new system — which many have noted might be a direct response to past tweets from President Trump that were seen as harassment — comes just days after Reddit decided to quarantine its biggest pro-Trump forum amid accusations that it spreads misinformation and incites violence.

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