Twitter announced on Thursday that it will be rolling out a new feature to notify users when *ahem* certain high profile accounts run afoul of the company’s (deeply uneven) content rules.
In a blog post titled “Defining public interest on Twitter” the company said the new notifications were being enacted for users which “have outsized influence and sometimes say things that could be considered controversial or invite debate and discussion.”
“A critical function of our service is providing a place where people can openly and publicly respond to their leaders and hold them accountable,” Twitter explained. “With this in mind, 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.”
In other words, the company is fine with people breaking their rules to spew bullshit to their followers, so long as that bullshit is appropriately labeled beforehand.
Here’s what that warning is set to look like:
And who, you ask, are the power users who will now be subject to this cotton-soft policing? The company explains:
The account must:
- 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.
Let’s see... can you think of a certain president who meets those criteria who also happens to frequently tweet unhinged, defamatory, and largely abusive content? I know I can!
In fact, Twitter’s announcement comes just one day after President Donald Trump whined about his alleged (and wholly imaginary) mistreatment by the company during a rambling phone interview with Fox Business Network. It also comes on the heels of renewed kvetching from various right wingers over claims of an alleged (and also wholly imaginary) bias against conservatives on the platform.
“This is not about perceived bias but about providing more clarity if our rules have been broken,” a Twitter spokesman told CNN on Thursday.
And I’m sure the first time Twitter labels one of the president’s characteristically unhinged rants as being against the rules, he’ll accept the decision with the grace and poise for which he’s known. Right?