Twitter Can Now Flag Trump Tweets It Considers Offensive

In a blog post today, Twitter announced it will attach a notice to politician’s tweets if the message violates the social network’s content guidelines, effective immediately.

Credit: El-Amin/Shutterstock

(Image credit: El-Amin/Shutterstock)

The post, called Defining public interest on Twitter, says the company’s “highest priority is to protect the health of the public conversation on Twitter,” and that includes giving users the ability to share thoughts about topics that matter to them. “This can be especially important when engaging with government officials and political figures,” the post explains.

While Twitter supports the people in leadership positions using Twitter to “invite debate and discussion,” the company is taking action against cases where politicians use their 280 characters to spread hate or targeted harassment. 

In the past, users have asked the social messaging platform to take down tweets that seemingly violate the community guidelines. In January 2018, the company said it was hesitant to block access to information from politicians, even if their content seem controversial. Blocking world leaders “would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” Twitter wrote at the time. 

Credit: Twitter

(Image credit: Twitter)

This doesn’t mean President Trump can’t tweet anymore (in fact, the post doesn’t address Trump by name at all) — instead, when you encounter what Twitter considers an offensive tweet from a politician, there will be a notice concealing the content. You’ll have to accept the warning in order to see the original tweet.

According to the blog post, the new notice only applies to certain accounts that meet the following criteria:

  • Be or represent a government official, be running for public office, or be considered for a government position (i.e., next in line, awaiting confirmation, named successor to an appointed position);
  • Have more than 100,000 followers; and
  • Be verified.

Twitter notices are nothing new. The social network uses them at its moderators’ discretions to add context to actions taken on certain tweets, like warnings on sensitive material or disclaimers on removed tweets. They’re also used to reduce the circulation of potentially harmful content within Twitter’s algorithm. 

The new move isn’t retroactive, and Twitter isn’t sure of when the first time it’ll have to use the notice will be. But this still marks a significant shift in Twitter’s attitude towards managing tweets from world leaders. 

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering smartwatches, TVs and everything smart-home related. Kate also appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her on an exercise bike, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef. 

  • axemastersinc
    SJW Facebook YouTube Universities Collages Secular News Safe-space Politically Correct None Binary Heterophobic Antifa cowards are the Nazi-Fascist of the 21 first Century. Conservatives don't give a damn what you say or think. You clowns are the ones trying to stop free speech because you don't like what someone says. That is the very definition of fascism. Good grief.
  • lmahek
    Google just got caught admitting to doing that.
  • Eddie4POTUS
    Twitter? Don't you have to be actually following the POTUS to receive his tweets? Seems to me that if you're offended you should be able to take care of the matter yourself with a click of a button. It's not a crime to be offended.