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Twitter to put new warnings on rule-breaking tweets by politicians

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Twitter says it is going to put warnings on tweets by politicians and world leaders that violate its rules, amid ongoing calls for Donald Trump to be banned from the social network.

The US President is notorious for his prolific Twitter habit, and critics have long argued that some of his more incendiary tweets fall foul of Twitter’s rules on threatening violence and bullying.

The San Francisco-headquartered tech firm has previously rejected the idea that Trump’s comments were banworthy, arguing that the inherent newsworthiness of his tweets means that they should stay up, regardless of any official rules.

On Thursday, Twitter offered a potential compromise — a new feature that will flag tweets that are rule-violating, but deemed by the company to be in the public interest to remain available.

An image of how the warning may look is below. Users will have to click through to actually see the content of the tweet.

Twitter

“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. 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,” the company wrote in a blog post.

“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.”

To be eligible for this treatment, a tweet needs to come from a government official or someone running for public office, have more than 100,000 followers on Twitter, and be verified.

The feature will not be retroactive, Twitter says, so don’t expect to see controversial old tweets from Trump appended with this warning.


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