Twitter Cracks Down On ‘Abusive’ Tweets From Politicians By Warning Users

The Twitter app is seen with an image of US president Donald Trump in the background in this photo illustration on December 4, 2017. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Twitter, President Donald Trump’s social media platform of choice, announced on Thursday that it would start labeling “abusive” tweets from high-profile politicians.

“In the past, we’ve allowed certain tweets that violated our rules to remain on Twitter because they were in the public’s interest, but it wasn’t clear when and how we made those determinations,” the company wrote in a blog post explaining the change.

Twitter said a tweet that “may be in the public’s interest” but is still “in violation of our rules” would be hidden by a notice that the user would need to tap or click on to see the tweet. The notice would explain that “the Twitter Rules about abusive behavior apply to this Tweet.”

Additionally, the tweet will “feature less prominently” and won’t appear in notification tabs or safe searches.

Without mentioning Trump directly, Twitter said that the new rule applies to accounts belonging to government officials and those running for public office, have more than 10,000 followers and are verified.

Critics have slammed the social media giant for allowing Trump to break Twitter’s safety and cyberbullying rules with his threats against Iran, North Korea, and other parties. Twitter previously defended itself by claiming that “blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate.”

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