Twitter to flag tweets from politicians and govt officials who break their rules

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Social networking site Twitter said on Thursday it will roll out new rules for politicians and government officials with more than 100,000 followers.

“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,” Twitter said in a blog post.

In the past, Twitter had allowed such tweets to remain on its feed as they were in public interest, the company said.

Now, it added, “We’ll place a notice – a screen you have to click or tap through before you see the Tweet – to provide additional context and clarity.”

The notice will appear in the home timeline and across other areas such as search, Twitter said.

The new rule comes in the wake of criticisms against Twitter while being careful to avoid allegations of political bias. Over the last few years, many users have questioned why Twitter does not take down tweets from some politicians and government officials that appear to violate its content policies.

In a statement on Thursday, Twitter did not mention anyone by name, but it said the new rule will apply to verified government officials, representatives or candidates for a government position who have more than 100,000 followers.

Prior to the announcement, U.S President Donald Trump had lambasted Twitter, Google, and other Tech giants on Wednesday, claiming they are repressing his messaging and public commentary. “Twitter is just terrible, what they do. They don’t let you get the word out, ” President Trump told Fox Business Network.  “I’ll tell you what, they should be sued…”, he added.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, June 25, 2019.

“What they did to me on Twitter is incredible,” President also said. “I have millions and millions of followers, but I will tell you, they make it very hard for people to join me in Twitter and they make it very much harder for me to get out the message.”

Twitter responded via email on Wednesday that its focus is on improving the health of its platform — including the removal of fake accounts to prevent malicious activity — and that many prominent figures have seen follower counts drop as a result.

“We build our products with extraordinary care and safeguards to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without any regard for political viewpoint,” a Google spokesperson told CNBC in an email. “Our rating guidelines are publicly visible for all to see.”

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