Twitter to Restrict User Interaction With World Leaders Who Violate Rules

Twitter is set to make some major changes that will directly impact how users will be able to interact with select tweets from world leaders. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey released a lengthy blog post on Tuesday night that said the social media platform will not allow users to “like, reply, share or retweet offending tweets” from leaders who violate Twitter rules.

With President Donald Trump using Twitter to attack political rivals and international leaders, there have been critics about how Twitter enforces its rules. In fact, during the CNN/New York Times Democratic Presidential Debate, Senator Kamala Harris asked for Trump’s account to be banned.

Now, while this may be viewed as “censorship” it looks like they are taking a step forward towards limiting offensive and harmful material from being shared by some of the most influential leaders in the world.

“When it comes to the actions of world leaders on Twitter, we recognize that this is largely new ground and unprecedented,” a statement from the company read. “We understand the desire for our decisions to be ‘yes/no’ binaries, but it’s not that simple. The actions we take and policies we develop will set precedent around online speech and we owe it to the people we serve to be deliberate and considered in what we do.”

“Our goal is to enforce our rules judiciously and impartially. In doing so, we aim to provide direct insight into our enforcement decision-making, to serve public conversation, and protect the public’s right to hear from their leaders and to hold them to account.”

If users wish to interact with tweets that violate the platform rules, they will still be able to quote tweet them in order to share their own thoughts and opinions.

Tweets that do the following will violate Twitter rules, according to the release:

  • Clear and direct threats of violence against an individual (context matters: as noted above, direct interactions with fellow public figures and/or commentary on political and foreign policy issues would likely not result in enforcement);
  • Posting private information, such as a home address or non-public personal phone number;
  • Posting or sharing intimate photos or videos of someone that were produced or distributed without their consent;
  • Engaging in behaviors relating to child sexual exploitation; and
  • Encouraging or promoting self-harm.

Do you agree with the step forward from Twitter? Sound off in the comments section below.

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