Twitter says it will end its uneven enforcement of controversial tweets from politicians that break its internal rules.
The micro-blogging platform said that in the past it had 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.”
Going forward, however, tweets by world leaders and politicians that break Twitter rules will now be hidden behind a warning notice.
Twitter announced the clarification of its rules in a blog posting on the matter.
The new policy applies to government officials, anyone running for office, or are being considered for a government position. They have to have more 100,000 followers and a verified Twitter account.
Twitter admitted that in the past it had allowed controversial and rule-breaking tweets from politicians to remain online.
But this will change somewhat going forward.
“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,” blogged Twitter.
“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,” it added.
An example of rule-breaking tweets from politicians in the past that were allowed to remain online includes the famous tweet by President Donald Trump, who in September 2017 made his infamous “rocketman” tweet about the North Korean leader.
“Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at UN,” tweeted Trump. “If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”