On Wednesday, Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of legal, policy, and trust and safety, stated at a Washington Post event the company is considering adding a message to tweets from public figures as to why these offensive messages that violate Twitter rules remain up on the site and not removed.
Twitter believes tweets from public figures are newsworthy and should remain up even if the tweets violate their terms of service.
They may as well call this the “Trump tweet rule” because that is precisely the public figure they had in mind when they thought of this new feature.
Do you think they had celebrities or politicians on the hard left in mind when they thought of this?
Of course not.
This is to help Twitter stay in good standing with their fellow liberal Silicon Valley techies because they won’t remove Trump all together because if they did, the platform would lose millions of conservative Trump supporters. It would be a PR nightmare to remove the POTUS from Twitter.
Since they can’t remove Trump, they’ll just say his tweets are awful, and they don’t agree with them, but due to “newsworthiness,” they can’t remove them. This will help them keep some credibility with the twittering left.
I do agree with Twitter that tweets that call for direct violence against an individual or promoting violence in general should be taken down.
It will be interesting to see how fair this process will go and if those on the hard left that say awful things will receive a label on their tweets as violating their terms of service in addition to Trump’s tweets.
The problem with issues such as labeling tweets as offensive is who gets to decide what is “offensive”?
Sure, some tweets are an obvious violation of Twitter’s terms of service such as violent threats for example, but if Trump or another conservative politician or religious leader posts something that goes against the liberal agenda, will that be considered a terms of service violation under this new rule?
Only time will tell how Twitter handles this issue. I hope I am pleasantly surprised and the company is fair to both sides, and when they decide to flag tweets, it will be only in very rare circumstances. However, my gut says Trump’s tweets will be getting a lot of flags.