Twitter has come up with a new feature of adding warnings to those posts which are politically offensive in some of the other way. (Basically, those tweets which violate the terms and services of this platform will be warned.)
These warning labels that will be given on the offending tweets would be in terms of explaining to the viewers that the particular tweet tends to break the guidelines of the platform. The users can click on the warning shown, which will lead them into the tweet that was not showing earlier.
The warning does not mean that these tweets will be deleted or removed from the site. The tweets will be visible only on the timeline of the person who has shared the particular tweet, which means they will not be seen in the search or will arrive in any of the recommendations. And when a person finds it on the user’s timeline, it will be seen under the heading “The Twitter Rules about abusive behavior apply to this Tweet.”
On June 27th, Twitter announced that it will not take down, remove or delete an offending tweet because this creates the arguments against biases. However, all the significant political figures and the leaders who post any tweet which is harassing or using any violent threats will be hidden under the aforementioned heading.
All the political leaders with verified accounts and the government officials who have followers more than 1,00,000 will be the ones to whom this new rule applied. The violation tweets will clearly be labeled, as mentioned above.
The fact that Twitter is not going to delete such tweets but will just hide them under a heading adheres to its basic claim of “freedom of speech,” to decide exactly which kind of tweets will this particular rule apply to is not as easy to claim, however, the site has decided to leave away those tweets which hold someone responsible for something or the other, or if they provide give any reference to something, or offer particular aspects to certain things.
Furthermore, another point to be noted is that any tweet that pertains to those topics which are kind of threat for someone is not a matter of public interest, which is why the site will not remove or delete the tweets on its own, unless the person in question wishes to remove it from their timelines, in order to avoid any controversies against them. It was a discussion before about the same, regarding the fact that Twitter might delete such tweets on its own, but the site has always maintained its forum and will not prevent anyone from their basic rights.
This announcement of Twitter has aroused as many of the social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube have consistently found it difficult in maintaining the freedom of speech, by being stuck between their own guidelines, and taking action against the content which is offensive in any way. Facebook, is still under the procedures of developing its independent boards to review the decisions regarding the content development process.
YouTube, on the other hand, has made decisions to ban the videos that support white supremacy. This happened after the audience expressed their viewpoints regarding the easy accessibility of such content. But the site decided on not removing such videos, and instead of keeping it as they are. The site claims that despite being called “offensive,” these videos are not under any obligation of violating policy rules.
“Twitter said that this particular initiation to hide the inflammatory tweets, which somehow lend into favors of one political party over the other, always arouse public anger. A critic also mentioned that despite its improved guidelines, the US President Donald Trump has the liberty to post the tweets that are forbidden considering the site’s terms of services. Donald Trump, who has almost 63 million followers on Twitter, has recently used Twitter to threaten North Korea, posting a video to encourage nuclear war between the two countries. The video that he posted clearly supported violence.”
Twitter, anyhow claims that since it has not deleted or removed such tweets, it is preventing all kinds of bias against the site that may be used against it. Critics, thereby say that the site limits its reach for the welfare of the public. Mr. Trump also has said that the site lets the users limit their terms of service. But Twitter repeatedly denies such bias claims or accusations regarding its freedom that is given to its users.
Many other famous personalities such as Jair Bolsonaro and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have also used this platform to share that type of content that is supposed to be eventually removed if it was posted by mainstream or non-famous users. This clearly indicates partiality. Bolsonaro, recently tweeted a pornographic video, while Khamenei has called Israel “eradicated.”
People involved with the team of Twitter have after this decided to apply this particular rule of adding warning labels to the offensive tweets, after having witnessed the outrage of the public against such issues. Also, such tweets will not be promoted in any sense, as mentioned earlier, they will only be shown on the particular user’s timeline and not anywhere else.
Twitter pertains to the fact that this feature will not be that common thing. It will be a rare sight, in only those cases which are indeed offensive in all the senses. This exclusivity of the feature is only because of the struggle that the site constantly goes through between not being biased against the known celebrities and making them also comply with the rules meant for the common public.
To conclude, the acceptability and the reliability of this feature will only be understood with the advent of time, when this option comes into action.