Twitter Safety posted about a new policy that it described as “Freedom of Speech, Not Reach: An update on our enforcement philosophy”. From the update:
“Our mission at Twitter 2.0 is to promote and protect the public conversation. We believe Twitter users have the right to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship. We also believe it is our responsibility to keep users on our platform safe from content violating our Rules.
These beliefs are the foundation of Freedom of Speech, not Freedom of Reach – our enforcement philosophy which means, where appropriate, restricting the reach of Tweets that violate our policies by making the content less discoverable.
Today, we’re excited to share an update on our approach to policy enforcement that better aligns this philosophy with our commitment to transparency.
Restricting the reach of Tweets, also known as visibility filtering, is one of our existing enforcement actions that allows us to move beyond the binary “leave up versus take down” approach to content moderation. However, like other social platforms, we have not historically been transparent when we’ve taken this action. Starting soon, we will add publicly visible labels to Tweets identified as potentially violating our policies letting you know we’ve limited their visibility.
These labels bring a new level of transparency to enforcement actions by displaying which policy the Tweet potentially violates to both the Tweet author and other users on Twitter. Tweets with these labels will be made less discoverable on the platform. Additionally, we will not place ads adjacent to content that we label. You can learn more about the ways we may restrict a Tweet’s reach here. https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/enforcement-options …
…While these labels will initially only apply to a set of Tweets that potentially violate our Hateful Conduct policy, we plan to expand their applications to other applicable policy areas in the coming months. This change is designed to result in enforcement actions that are more proportional and transparent for everyone on the platform…”
The Verge reported that one of the actions Twitter can take is to limit the reach of hateful tweets. The tweets remain online but become less discoverable as they’re excluded from areas like search results, trends, recommended notifications, For You and Following timelines and more.
TechCrunch reported that one of the actions Twitter can take is to limit the reach of hateful tweets. The tweets remain online but become less discoverable as they’re excluded from areas like search results, trends, recommended notifications, For You and Following timelines and more.
Personally, I’m going to take a “wait and see” approach to this. In general, labeling tweets with hate speech is something Twitter should be doing. My concern is that the labels regarding hate speech could be used to harm marginalized people, or be posted more often on accounts who favor one political party over the other.