Twitter is to step up its moderation efforts to clamp down on the spread of harassment and hate speech by pledging to stamp a warning tag on the accounts of high-profile politicians who flaunt the rules of the site.
Already dubbed the ‘Trump rule’ in the media the measure would seek to balance social cohesion with free speech by permitting questionable tweets subject to a warning label to alert followers, who can then choose whether or not to read the contentious message in their timeline.
The alert will read: “The Twitter Rules about abusive behaviour apply to this Tweet. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain available.”
In a blog post detailing how the new stance will take effect, Twitter said it would balance several factors when determining what content to silo behind its decency wall; including ‘the immediacy and severity of potential harm’ and an ‘an emphasis on ensuring physical safety’.
Twitter has previously adopted a hands-off approach to passing judgement on the views of others on the grounds that deleting content did not serve the public interest but believes that this compromise measure will placate a growing number of people demanding more robust measures to root out anti-social behaviour.
A spotlight has been shone on Twitter by US president Donald Trump who has co-opted the platform to serve as an unscripted stream of consciousness to reach 61.4m followers directly with behaviour that includes posting doctored footage of him apparently attacking a CNN journalist.