Twitter adds labels for tweets that break its rules — a move with potentially stark implications for Trump’s account


Former Staff
Jul 2014
Twitter on Thursday said it would begin labeling tweets from national political figures, including President Trump, that the company would have taken down under other circumstances for violating its rules, a move that could appease some longtime critics at the cost of opening a new political rift with the White House. The new policy applies to political candidates and government officials who have more than 100,000 followers, Twitter said. Before users can view tweets that the company has flagged as a violation of its policy, they will need to click on a screen that says, “The Twitter Rules about abusive behavior apply to this Tweet. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain available.”

Twitter said it would also deprioritize the labeled tweets in the company’s algorithms and search bar so that they would circulate to fewer people. The company has set up a special team tasked with enforcing the new policy, and the notification label will appear only on rare occasions. Twitter’s new decision to label tweets comes at a moment when technology companies are under immense pressure to better monitor and police their platforms for extremism, hate speech, violence and abuse. In response, some social-media companies are embracing ideas they’ve long resisted.

Reddit, for example, opted on Wednesday to “quarantine” the biggest forum for supporters of President Trump following years of complaints that it had become a hub for conspiracy theories and violent threats. At Facebook, meanwhile, company officials on Thursday revealed more details about its nascent plan to create an oversight board of outside experts that can help make decisions about how the company polices content. Before this week, Twitter had maintained that even vitriolic tweets from national leaders such as Trump should remain in full public view, arguing that it’s in voters’ interests to see the president’s views unfettered

Trump, who broadcasts his political positions and attacks to more than 61 million followers daily, has repeatedly tested its standards. Last year, he used the service to call a former aide who is African American a “dog.” He tweeted a video of him shoving a person to the ground with a CNN logo superimposed over the face. He has tweeted about people’s physical appearance and called them dumb. But the issues facing Twitter — which has more than 300 million users globally — go well beyond concerns about Trump and other candidates in the coming U.S. election. Leaders in politically unstable countries have used the service to make incendiary comments that critics said have helped to legitimize violent acts among followers.

This IS a pretty big deal

No doubt the WH is going to go off the rails with this decision.