Troubled social network Twitter has announced changes to the way it will deal with tweets that break its rules, saying that we can expect those posts to be labeled as such and be seen by fewer people.
The move, which was announced both via the Twitter Safety account and on the Twitter blog, means that people who break Twitter’s policies will likely find that their tweets reach fewer people and are engaged with less as a result, although Twitter won’t take action beyond that. The account won’t be banned, for example, and the tweet itself won’t be deleted.
As a result, anyone who has the link to the tweet will be able to see it and, presumably, the tweet will be available when viewing the poster’s profile.
“Freedom of Speech, Not Reach”
In its announcement blog post (opens in new tab), Twitter made it clear that its mission “is to promote and protect the public conversation.” That means that he believes “users have the right to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship.”
However, the post goes on to say that Twitter believes that it has a responsibility to keep people safe on its platform.
“These beliefs are the foundation of Freedom of Speech, not Freedom of Reach – our enforcement philosophy which means, where appropriate, restricting the reach of Tweets that violate our policies by making the content less discoverable,” the company says.
We’re adding more transparency to the enforcement actions we take on Tweets. As a first step, soon you’ll start to see labels on some Tweets identified as potentially violating our rules around Hateful Conduct letting you know that we’ve limited their visibility. 🧵…April 17, 2023
“Starting soon, we will add publicly visible labels to Tweets identified as potentially violating our policies letting you know we’ve limited their visibility,” Twitter says, adding that it believes that the approach is more transparent than other approaches.
Tweets that have these labels applied won’t have ads placed alongside them either, perhaps in an attempt to appease advertisers who remain concerned about the kinds of content available on Twitter since Elon Musk’s $44 billion buyout in 2022.
Twitter also says that it’s working to allow people to appeal to a label if they want to.
This will all apply to Twitter’s app and website and is something that will only have been possible thanks to the fact there are no third-party apps available. That changes came when Twitter killed off its API, leaving the official Twitter app as the only game in town. That’s the case no matter what device you’re using and even the very best iPhone is limited to Twitter’s first-party app today.